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Tracing the Potential Existence of the Asian Tropopause Aerosol Layer (ATAL) Prior to the Late 1990s through Observations
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  • Corinna Kloss,
  • Adriana Bossolasco,
  • Larry W. Thomason,
  • Bernard Legras,
  • Gwenael Berthet,
  • Fabrice Jegou,
  • Suvarna Sanjeev Fadnavis,
  • Pasquale Sellitto
Corinna Kloss
Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l'Environment et de l'Espace (LPC2E), CNRS

Corresponding Author:corinna.kloss@cnrs-orleans.fr

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Adriana Bossolasco
Institute of Physics of Northwest Argentina
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Larry W. Thomason
NASA-Langley Research Center
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Bernard Legras
CNRS - Lab Météo Dynamique
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Gwenael Berthet
French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
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Fabrice Jegou
LPC2E / French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
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Suvarna Sanjeev Fadnavis
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Pasquale Sellitto
Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques, Université Paris-Est Créteil
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An enhanced aerosol layer, known as the Asian Tropopause Aerosol Layer (ATAL), has been observed within the seasonal Asian monsoon anticyclone (AMA) since the late 1990s. Given the apparently abrupt appearance of this layer based on observations, it has been speculated that it originates from increasing human made emissions in Asia. However, the ATAL confinement is a result of a dynamical feature and does not purely consist of human made components. We herein investigate the possible existence of an ATAL earlier than the late 1990s. We exploit earliest possible, high quality space-based aerosol observations from Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment, or SAGE (1979-1981), SAGE III/ISS (2017, ongoing) and revisit SAGE II (1984-2005) data analysis. We find that seasonal averaged solar occultation aerosol measurements (past and present) can neither be used to exclude the existence of the ATAL, nor to infer a significant trend. However, first CAM5-MAM7 simulations indicate the presence of an ATAL signal for the tested years 1979 and 1980, with a human made component. We hypothesize that the human made component of the ATAL likely occurred since at least the 1970s, while the natural ATAL component (e.g. from dust) has always existed. Extended simulation based ATAL evolution studies are therefore the most reliable source for early ATAL investigations.
16 Aug 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
22 Aug 2023Published in ESS Open Archive