The role of mineral-dust aerosols in polar temperature amplification

F. Lambert, J. S. Kug, R. J. Park, N. Mahowald, G. Winckler, A. Abe-Ouchi, R. O'Ishi, T. Takemura, J. H. Lee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    37 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Changes in global temperature are generally more marked in high than in low latitudes, an effect referred to as polar amplification. Model simulations of future climate suggest a marked response of high-latitude climate due to elevated greenhouse-gas concentrations and associated albedo feedbacks. However, most climate models struggle to reproduce the amplitude of polar temperature change observed in palaeoclimatic archives and may carry this bias into future predictions. With the example of mineral dust we show that some atmospheric aerosols experience an amplified high-latitude response to global changes as well, a phenomenon generally not captured by the models. Using a synthesis of observational and model data we reconstruct atmospheric dust concentrations for Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) conditions. Radiative forcing calculations based on our new dust concentration reconstructions suggest that the impact of aerosols in polar areas is underestimated in model simulations for dustier-than-modern conditions. In the future, some simulations predict an increase in aridity in dust source areas. Other aerosols such as black carbon and sulphates are likely to increase as well. We therefore suggest that the inclusion of the amplified high-latitude response of aerosols in atmospheric models would improve the assessment of LGM and future polar amplification.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)487-491
    Number of pages5
    JournalNature Climate Change
    Volume3
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 1 2013

    Fingerprint

    amplification
    aerosol
    dust
    climate
    mineral
    Last Glacial Maximum
    simulation model
    temperature
    simulation
    global change
    radiative forcing
    aridity
    black carbon
    albedo
    climate modeling
    greenhouse gas
    reconstruction
    inclusion
    Holocene
    sulfate

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

    Cite this

    Lambert, F., Kug, J. S., Park, R. J., Mahowald, N., Winckler, G., Abe-Ouchi, A., ... Lee, J. H. (2013). The role of mineral-dust aerosols in polar temperature amplification. Nature Climate Change, 3(5), 487-491. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1785

    The role of mineral-dust aerosols in polar temperature amplification. / Lambert, F.; Kug, J. S.; Park, R. J.; Mahowald, N.; Winckler, G.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; O'Ishi, R.; Takemura, T.; Lee, J. H.

    In: Nature Climate Change, Vol. 3, No. 5, 01.05.2013, p. 487-491.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Lambert, F, Kug, JS, Park, RJ, Mahowald, N, Winckler, G, Abe-Ouchi, A, O'Ishi, R, Takemura, T & Lee, JH 2013, 'The role of mineral-dust aerosols in polar temperature amplification', Nature Climate Change, vol. 3, no. 5, pp. 487-491. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1785
    Lambert F, Kug JS, Park RJ, Mahowald N, Winckler G, Abe-Ouchi A et al. The role of mineral-dust aerosols in polar temperature amplification. Nature Climate Change. 2013 May 1;3(5):487-491. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1785
    Lambert, F. ; Kug, J. S. ; Park, R. J. ; Mahowald, N. ; Winckler, G. ; Abe-Ouchi, A. ; O'Ishi, R. ; Takemura, T. ; Lee, J. H. / The role of mineral-dust aerosols in polar temperature amplification. In: Nature Climate Change. 2013 ; Vol. 3, No. 5. pp. 487-491.
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