Numerical study of aerosol radiative forcing over East Asia and the impacts of cloud coverage and relative humidity
The spatiotemporal characteristics of aerosol direct radiative forcing (RF) and the relative contributions from aerosol species, as well as the impacts of cloud coverage and relative humidity on aerosol direct RF were quantified in East Asia using a regional climate model. Generally, the total aerosol produces net RFs of -12.78 W m-2 at surface, 1.72 W m-2 at TOA (top-of-atmosphere), and atmospheric heating of 14.50 W m-2. It was found that dust, black carbon, and sulfate made dominant contributions to the total RF at surface and TOA, and all aerosol species induced atmospheric heating, whereas more than 96% of which was induced by dust and black carbon. The remarkably seasonally decreasing tendency of the total and the absorbing aerosol RFs was found from spring to winter at surface. Moreover, dust contributes relatively larger to the positive TOA RF and to the atmospheric heating in spring and summer, which were weakened and smaller than black carbon in other seasons. Sensitivity studies further demonstrated cloud strengthens the dust and black carbon direct RF and weakens the other species direct RF at TOA, while induces weak direct RFs of all aerosol species at surface. Particularly, cloud induced larger reduction in dust longwave RF than shortwave leads to remarkable enhanced net surface direct RF of dust, especially in JJA. The aerosol swelling effect induced by relative humidity strengthens aerosol direct RF at both TOA and surface. The percentage changes in aerosol RF and its seasonal amplitude by cloud are considered larger at TOA than surface, however, the effects of relative humidity distribute relatively uniform vertically. Meteorological factors impact on scattering aerosols direct RF is assumed larger than absorbing aerosols. The impacts of cloud on aerosol direct RF are compared to the relative humidity and are supposed to be more important at TOA and surface.