The absorptive properties of dust aerosols largely determine the magnitude of their radiative impacts on the climate system. Currently, climate models use globally constant values of dust imaginary refractive index (IRI), a parameter describing the dust absorption efficiency of solar radiation, although it is highly variable. Here we show with model experiments that the dust-induced Indian summer monsoon (ISM) rainfall differences (with dust minus without dust) change from â'9% to 23% of long-Term climatology as the dust IRI is changed from zero to the highest values used in the current literature. A comparison of the model results with surface observations, satellite retrievals, and reanalysis data sets indicates that the dust IRI values used in most current climate models are too low, tending to significantly underestimate dust radiative impacts on the ISM system. This study highlights the necessity for developing a parameterization of dust IRI for climate studies.
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