Introduction to special section on mineral dust: outstanding problems in quantifying the radiative impact of mineral dust

TitleIntroduction to special section on mineral dust: outstanding problems in quantifying the radiative impact of mineral dust
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsSokolik I.N, Winkler D., Bergametti G., Gillette D., Carmichael G., Kaufman Y., Gomes L., Schuetz L., Penner J.
JournalJournal of Geophysics Research
Date Published2001
Accession NumberJRN00336
Keywordsatmosphere, dust burden, impacts, mineral dust, quantifying, radiative, spatial and temporal variations

This paper provides an introduction to the special section of the Journal of Geophysical Research on mineral dust. We briefly review the current experimental and theoretical approaches used to quantify the dust radiative impacts, highlight the outstanding issues, and discuss possible strategies to overcome the emerging problems. We also introduce the contributing papers of this special section. Despite the recent notable advances in dust studies, we demonstrate that the radiative effects of dust remain poorly quantified due to both limited data and incomplete understanding of relative physical and chemical processes. The foremost needs are (1) to quantify the spatial and temporal variations of dust burden in the atmosphere and develop a predictive capability for the size‐ and composition‐resolved dust particle distribution; (2) to develop a quantitative description of the processes that control the spatial and temporal variabilities of dust physical and chemical properties and radiative effects; (3) to develop new instrumentation (especially to measure the dust particle size distribution in a wide range from about 0.01 μm to 100 μm, scattering phase function and light absorption by dust particles); and (4) to develop new techniques for interpreting and merging the diverse information from satellite remote sensing, in situ and ground‐based measurements, laboratory studies, and model simulations. Because dust distribution and effects are heterogeneous, both spatially and temporally, a promising strategy to advance our knowledge is to perform comprehensive studies at the targeted regions affected by mineral dust of both natural and anthropogenic origin.

Reprint EditionNot in File (added 7/29/2005)