A decade of dust: Asian dust and springtime aerosol load in the U.S. Pacific...

Fischer, E., N. C. Hsu, D. Jaffe, M.-J. Jeong, and S. L. Gong (2009), A decade of dust: Asian dust and springtime aerosol load in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L03821, doi:10.1029/2008GL036467.

We integrate SeaWiFS aerosol optical thickness (AOT) over the Taklamakan and Gobi Deserts with U.S. aerosol observations to study surface aerosol variability in the Northwest U.S. in relation to Asian dust emissions. The results indicate that ~50% of the interannual variability in springtime average PM2.5 and PM10 can be explained by changes in Asian dust emissions. On a seasonal timescale, variations in dust emissions appear to be more important in determining the total material crossing the Pacific than the variations in meteorology represented by the PNA or the LRT3 indices. We are able to explain ~80% of the interannual variability using three variables: AOT, a transport index, and regional precipitation. This suggests that a strong source, favorable transport and sufficient residence time are needed for Asian dust to have a maximum seasonal impact in the Northwest. The results contextualize case studies and demonstrate the utility of the Deep Blue algorithm.

PDF of Publication: 
Download from publisher's website.
Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)