Seasonal to sub-seasonal variations of the Asian Tropopause Aerosols Layer affected by the deep convection, surface pollutants and precipitation

Wei Pu , Dongyou Wu , Tenglong Shi , Xiaoying Niu , Ziqi Chen , Jiecan Cui , Yang Chen , Xueying Zhang , Jun Liu , Mingxia Ji , Xin Wang , Maofa Ge , Yujing Mu , Jianmin Chen , Min Shao , Zifa Wang


Received May 13, 2021,Revised , Accepted , Available online February 23, 2022

Volume 34,2022,Pages 53-65

The Asian Tropopause Aerosols Layer (ATAL) refers to an accumulation of aerosols in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere during boreal summer over Asia, which has a fundamental impact on the monsoon system and climate change. In this study, we primarily analyze the seasonal to sub-seasonal variations of the ATAL and the factors potentially influencing those variations based on MERRA2 reanalysis. The ability of the reanalysis to reproduce the ATAL is well validated by CALIPSO observations from May to October 2016. The results reveal that the ATAL has a synchronous spatiotemporal pattern with the development and movement of the Asian Summer Monsoon. Significant enhancement of ATAL intensity is found during the prevailing monsoon period of July–August, with two maxima centered over South Asia and the Arabian Peninsula. Owing to the fluctuations of deep convection, the ATAL shows an episodic variation on a timescale of 7–12 days. Attribution analysis indicates that deep convection dominates the variability of the ATAL with a contribution of 62.7%, followed by a contribution of 36.6% from surface pollutants. The impact of precipitation is limited. The ATAL further shows a clear diurnal variation: the peak of ATAL intensity occurs from 17:30 to 23:30 local time (LT), when the deep convection becomes strongest; the minimum ATAL intensity occurs around 8:30 LT owing to the weakened deep convection and photochemical reactions in clouds. The aerosol components of the ATAL show different spatiotemporal patterns and imply that black carbon and organic carbon come mainly from India, whereas sulfate comes mainly from China during the prevailing monsoon period.

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