EGU21-262, updated on 03 Mar 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-262
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Anthropogenic Decline of African Dust inferred from Insights From the Holocene Records and Beyond: are dust purely  natural?

Tianle Yuan1,2, Hongbin Yu2, Mian Chin2, Lorraine Remer1, David McGee3, and Amato Evan4
Tianle Yuan et al.
  • 1JCET/ University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • 2NASA GSFC Earth Science Division
  • 3EAPS MIT
  • 4SIO UCSD

African dust exhibits strong variability on a range of time scales. Here we show that the interhemispheric contrast in Atlantic SST (ICAS) drives African dust variability at decadal to millennial timescales, and the strong anthropogenic increase of the ICAS in the future will decrease African dust loading to a level never seen during the Holocene. We provide a physical framework to understand the relationship between the ICAS and African dust activity: positive ICAS anomalies push the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) northward and decrease surface wind speed over African dust source regions, which reduces dust emission and transport. It provides a unified framework for and is consistent with relationships in the literature. We find strong observational and proxy‐record support for the ICAS‐ITCZ‐dust relationship during the past 160 and 17,000 years. Model‐projected anthropogenic increase of the ICAS will reduce African dust by as much as 60%, which has broad consequences. We posit that dust cannot be thought of as a purely natural phenomenon.

How to cite: Yuan, T., Yu, H., Chin, M., Remer, L., McGee, D., and Evan, A.: Anthropogenic Decline of African Dust inferred from Insights From the Holocene Records and Beyond: are dust purely  natural?, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-262, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-262, 2020.

Corresponding presentation materials formerly uploaded have been withdrawn.