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Open AccessArticle

Parameterization of The Single-Scattering Properties of Dust Aerosols in Radiative Flux Calculations

College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 73000, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(12), 728;
Received: 21 October 2019 / Revised: 14 November 2019 / Accepted: 19 November 2019 / Published: 21 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Aerosols)
In this study, we present parameterization schemes of dust single-scattering properties (SSPs) in order to establish a fast and accurate way to obtain the SSPs for dust shortwave radiative flux calculation. Based on the assumption that dust particles are spheroids, we represent a single nonspherical particle with a collection of monodisperse spheres that contain the same total surface area and volume as the original particle to convert the spheroid to a sphere. The SSPs of dust particles were parameterized in terms of the effective radius () and imaginary part of the refractive index (). The averaged relative errors of the parameterized to the “exact” single-scattering properties, which refer to the results from the Mie theory program, are below 1.5%. To further quantify the impact of parametrization on the radiative flux simulation, we computed the radiative fluxes at both the top of the atmosphere (TOA) and the surface by using SSPs from the parameterization and the “exact”, respectively. The maximum relative errors were below 1% at both the TOA and the surface, proving that the SSPs of dust calculated by our parameterization schemes are well suited for radiative flux calculations. This parameterization differs from previous works by being formulated not only with but also with . We also investigated the sensitivity of dust-aerosol forcing to , , optical depth (τ), and solar zenith angle (SZA). The results show that the value of shortwave (SW) radiative forcing (RF) at the TOA changes from negative to positive as the is increasing, which means that, as the absorption of dust particles becomes stronger, more energy is kept in the atmosphere to heat the earth–atmosphere system. The SW RF gradually becomes less negative at the TOA and more negative at the surface with increasing , due to the decreases of reflection and transmission along with the single-scattering albedo decreasing. As the optical depth increases, the values of the SW RF decrease because of the strong attenuation for heavy loading. When SZA increases, the SW RF becomes more negative at both the TOA and the surface due to the long optical path at a large SZA. The errors induced from the parameterized SSPs of dust in the SW RF calculation are very small, which are less than 2.1%, demonstrating the accuracy of the parameterization and its reliability for climate model applications.
Keywords: dust aerosol; single-scattering properties; parameterization; radiative forcing dust aerosol; single-scattering properties; parameterization; radiative forcing
MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, M.; Su, J.; Li, X.; Wang, C.; Ge, J. Parameterization of The Single-Scattering Properties of Dust Aerosols in Radiative Flux Calculations. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 728.

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