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    Modelling mineral dust in the Central Asian region
    (Les Ulis : EDP Sciences, 2019) Heinold, Bernd; Tegen, Ina
    In Central Asia, climate and air quality are largely affected by local and long-travelled mineral dust. For the last century, the area has experienced severe land-use changes and water exploitation producing new dust sources. Today global warming causes rapid shrinking of mountain glaciers with yet unknow consequences for dust and its climate effects. Despite the importance for a growing population, only little is known about sources, transport pathways and properties of Central Asian dust. A transport study with a global aerosol-climate model is undertaken to investigate the life cycle of mineral dust in Central Asia for the period of a remote-sensing campaign in Tajikistan in 2015-2016. An initial evaluation with sun photometer measurements shows reasonable agreement for the average amount of dust, but a significant weakness of the model in reproducing the seasonality of local dust with maximum activity in summer. Source apportionment reveals a major contribution from Arabia throughout the year in accordance with observations. In the model, local sources mainly contribute in spring and autumn while summer-time dust production is underestimated. The results underline the importance of considering long-range transport and, locally, a detailed representation of atmospheric dynamics and surface characteristics for modelling dust in Central Asia. © 2019 The Authors, published by EDP Sciences.