The role of aerosol–radiation–cloud interactions in linking anthropogenic pollution over southern west Africa and dust emission over the Sahara
The aerosol direct and indirect effects are studied over west Africa in the summer of 2016 using the coupled WRF-CHIMERE regional model including aerosol–cloud interaction parameterization. First, a reference simulation is performed and compared with observations acquired during the Dynamics-aerosol-chemistry-cloud interactions in West Africa (DACCIWA) field campaign which took place in June and July 2016. Sensitivity experiments are also designed to gain insights into the impact of the aerosols dominating the atmospheric composition in southern west Africa (one simulation with halved anthropogenic emissions and one with halved mineral dust emissions). The most important effect of aerosol–cloud interactions is found for the mineral dust scenario, and it is shown that halving the emissions of mineral dust decreases the 2 m temperature by 0.5 K and the boundary layer height by 25 m on a monthly average (July 2016) and over the Saharan region. The presence of dust aerosols also increases (decreases) the shortwave (longwave) radiation at the surface by 25 W m−2. It is also shown that the decrease of anthropogenic emissions along the coast has an impact on the mineral dust load over west Africa by increasing their emissions in the Saharan region. It is due to a mechanism where particulate matter concentrations are decreased along the coast, imposing a latitudinal shift of the monsoonal precipitation and, in turn, an increase of the surface wind speed over arid areas, inducing more mineral dust emissions.