Relationship between Asian monsoon strength and transport of surface aerosols to the Asian Tropopause Aerosol Layer (ATAL): interannual variability and decadal changes
In this study, we have investigated the interannual variability and the decadal trend of carbon monoxide (CO), carbonaceous aerosols (CA) and mineral dust in the Asian Tropopause Aerosol Layer (ATAL) in relation to varying strengths of the South Asian summer monsoon (SASM) using MERRA-2 reanalysis data (2001–2015). Results show that during this period, the aforementioned ATAL constituents exhibit strong interannual variability and rising trends connected to the variations of the strength of SASM. During strong monsoon years, the Asian monsoon anticyclone (AMA) is more expansive and shifted northward compared to weak years. In spite of the effect of quenching of biomass burning emissions of CO and CA by increased precipitation, as well as the removal of CA and dust by increased washout from the surface to the mid-troposphere in monsoon regions, all three constituents are found to be more abundant in an elongated accumulation zone in the ATAL, on the southern flank of the expanded AMA. Enhanced transport to the ATAL by overshooting deep convection is found over preferred pathways in the Himalayan-Gangetic Plain (HGP) and the Sichuan Basin (SB). The long-term positive trends of ATAL CO and CA are robust, while the ATAL dust trend is weak due to its large interannual variability. The ATAL trends are associated with increasing strength of the AMA, with earlier and enhanced vertical transport of ATAL constituents by enhanced overshooting convection over the HGP and SB regions, outweighing the strong reduction of CA and dust from the surface to the mid-troposphere.