Aerosol effects on global land surface energy fluxes during 2003-2010

Shaoqing Liu, Min Chen, Qianlai Zhuang

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30 Scopus citations


Aerosols affect downward solar radiation, impacting the terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics and energy budget. Here we apply a coupled modeling framework of a terrestrial ecosystem model and an atmospheric radiative transfer model to evaluate aerosol direct radiative effects on the surface heat fluxes of global terrestrial ecosystems during 2003-2010. We find that aerosol loadings decrease the mean latent heat flux by 2.4 Wm-2 (or evapotranspiration by 28 mm) and sensible heat flux by 16 Wm-2. As a result, global mean soil moisture and water evaporative fraction have increased by 0.5% and 4%, respectively. Spatially, aerosol effects are significant in tropical forests and temperate broadleaf evergreen forests. This study is among the first quantifications of aerosols' effects on the heat fluxes of the global terrestrial ecosystems. The study further suggests that both direct and indirect aerosol radiative effects through aerosol-cloud interactions should be considered to quantify the energy budget of the global terrestrial ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7875-7881
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 28 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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© 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


  • aerosol
  • energy fluxes
  • terrestrial ecosystem model


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