Airborne particles of mineral dust play a key role in Earth's climate system and affect human activities around the globe. The numerical weather modeling community has undertaken considerable efforts to accurately forecast these dust emissions. Here, for the first time in the literature, we thoroughly describe and document the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) dust emission scheme for the Georgia Institute of Technology-Goddard Global Ozone Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport (GOCART) aerosol model within the Weather Research and Forecasting model with chemistry (WRF-Chem) and compare it to the other dust emission schemes available in WRF-Chem. The AFWA dust emission scheme addresses some shortcomings experienced by the earlier GOCART-WRF scheme. Improved model physics are designed to better handle emission of fine dust particles by representing saltation bombardment. WRF-Chem model performance with the AFWA scheme is evaluated against observations of dust emission in southwest Asia and compared to emissions predicted by the other schemes built into the WRF-Chem GOCART model. Results highlight the relative strengths of the available schemes, indicate the reasons for disagreement, and demonstrate the need for improved soil source data.
LeGrand, S. L., Polashenski, C., Letcher, T. W., Creighton, G. A., Peckham, S. E., & Cetola, J. D. (2019). The AFWA dust emission scheme for the GOCART aerosol model in WRF-Chem v3.8.1. Geoscientific Model Development, 12(1), 131–166. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-12-131-2019