© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
A study on the direct effect of anthropogenic aerosols on near surface air temperature over Southeastern Europe during summer 2000 based on regional climate modeling
Department of Meteorology and Climatology, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Abstract. In the present work it is investigated the direct shortwave effect of anthropogenic aerosols on the near surface temperature over Southeastern Europe and the atmospheric circulation during summer 2000. In summer 2000, a severe heat-wave and droughts affected many countries in the Balkans. The study is based on two yearly simulations with and without the aerosol feedback of the regional climate model RegCM3 coupled with a simplified aerosol model. The surface radiative forcing associated with the anthropogenic aerosols is negative throughout the European domain with the more negative values in Central and Central-eastern Europe. A basic pattern of the aerosol induced changes in air temperature at the lower troposphere is a decrease over Southeastern Europe and the Balkan Peninsula (up to about 1.2°C) thus weakening the pattern of the climatic temperature anomalies of summer 2000. The aerosol induced changes in air temperature from the lower troposphere to upper troposphere are not correlated with the respective pattern of the surface radiative forcing implying the complexity of the mechanisms linking the aerosol radiative forcing with the induced atmospheric changes through dynamical feedbacks of aerosols on atmospheric circulation. Investigation of the aerosol induced changes in the circulation indicates a southward shift of the subtropical jet stream playing a dominant role for the decrease in near surface air temperature over Southeastern Europe and the Balkan Peninsula. The southward shift of the jet exit region over the Balkan Peninsula causes a relative increase of the upward motion at the northern flank of the jet exit region, a relative increase of clouds, less solar radiation absorbed at the surface and hence relative cooler air temperatures in the lower troposphere between 45° N and 50° N. The southward extension of the lower troposphere aerosol induced negative temperature changes in the latitudinal band 35° N–45° N over the Balkan Peninsula is justified from the prevailing northerly flow advecting the relatively cooler air from the latitudinal band 45° N–50° N towards the lower latitudes. The present regional climate modeling study indicates the important role of anthropogenic aerosols for the regional climate and their dynamical feedback on atmospheric circulation.