Articles | Volume 28, issue 1
25 Jan 2010
 | 25 Jan 2010

Impact of the Southeast Asian summer monsoon strength on the outflow of aerosols from South Asia

L. Zhang, H. Liao, and J. Li

Abstract. We chose a relatively weak Southeast Asian summer monsoon (SEASM) year (1998) and a relatively strong year (2002) to examine the impact of the monsoon strength on the transport of organic carbon (OC) aerosol emitted from the South Asia (75°–105° E, 10°–25° N) by using the global 3-D chemical transport model GEOS-Chem driven by the assimilated meteorological fields. Simulated surface layer concentrations and column burdens of OC indicate that OC levels are much higher in the weak SEASM year 1998 than in the strong SEASM year 2002. The sensitivity experiments with global OC emissions turned off except those over the South Asia show that OC aerosol emitted from South Asia contributes to 50–70% of OC mass over southern China and 20–50% of OC over the western North Pacific between 850 hPa and 400 hPa in 1998. The outflow of OC from the South Asia is larger in 1998 than in 2002. Three factors contribute to the larger buildup of summer time OC in the weak SEASM year of 1998. The first is the weakened summer monsoon rainfall over the Southeast Asia that leads to less wet deposition and higher OC concentrations. The second is the enhancement of deep convection in the western Indian continent and the weakened upward lifting over the western North Pacific. The last and the most important factor is the abnormal circulation in the lower and middle troposphere that contributes to the long-range transport of OC from South Asia to Southern China and the western North Pacific.