Black Carbon and West African Monsoon precipitation: observations and simulations
- 1Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149, USA
- 2Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Inst. of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307, USA
Abstract. We have recently investigated large-scale co-variability between aerosol and precipitation and other meteorological variables in the West African Monsoon (WAM) region using long term satellite observations and reanalysis data. In this study we compared the observational results to a global model simulation including only direct radiative forcing of black carbon (BC). From both observations and model simulations we found that in boreal cold seasons anomalously high African aerosols are associated with significant reductions in cloud amount, cloud top height, and surface precipitation. These results suggest that the observed precipitation reduction in the WAM region is caused by radiative effect of BC. The result also suggests that the BC effect on precipitation is nonlinear.