The Aerosol Characterization Experiments (ACE) are designed to increase
our understanding of how atmospheric aerosol particles affect the Earth’s
climate system. ACE-Asia was the fourth in this series of experiments organized
by the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Program (A Core
Project of the International Geosphere Biosphere Program).
ACE-Asia took place during the spring of 2001 (schedule)
off the coast of China, Japan and Korea (map).
The ACE-Asia region includes many types of aerosol particles of widely
varying composition and size derived from one of the largest aerosol source
regions on Earth. These particles include those emitted by human activities
and industrial sources, as well as wind-blown dust. Results from ACE-Asia
have improved our understanding of how atmospheric aerosols influence the
chemical and radiative properties of the Earth’s atmosphere. Specifically:
The Power Point slide presentation "What have we learned from ACE-Asia",
presented by Barry Huebert at the Fall 2002 Meeting of the American Geophysical
Union can be downloaded here.
The dust we can observe by satellite, transported half way around the globe,
is not just dust, it is dust mixed with pollution. Air pollution
changes dust aerosols in many ways, adding black carbon, toxic materials,
and acidic gases to the mineral particles. Atmospheric chemistry and its
impact on air quality and climate change are truly global issues.
We can not measure dust in one region and assume that dust everywhere around
the Earth has the same impact on climate. The dust that is transported
from East Asia to the Pacific does not absorb as much light as the
dark aerosol from South Asia or some previous measurements of dust from
the Sahara Desert. There are dramatic regional differences in the chemical
and optical properties of aerosols.
Combining ACE-Asia suborbital and satellite measurements yields monthly
average (April 2001) cloud-free aerosol radiative forcing at the surface
exceeding -30 W m-2 in a plume covering the Yellow Sea,
East China Sea, Sea of Japan and region downwind of Japan.
Additional information about ACE – Asia can be found in the Project