Surface warming during the 2018/Mars Year 34 Global Dust Storm

Streeter, Paul M.; Lewis, Stephen R.; Patel, Manish R.; Holmes, James A. and Kass, David M. (2020). Surface warming during the 2018/Mars Year 34 Global Dust Storm. Geophysical Research Letters, 46(9), article no. e2019GL083936.



The impact of Mars’ 2018 Global Dust Storm (GDS) on surface and near‐surface air temperatures was investigated using an assimilation of Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) observations. Rather than simply resulting in cooling everywhere from solar absorption (average surface radiative flux fell 26 Wm‐2), the globally‐averaged result was a 0.9 K surface warming. These diurnally‐averaged surface temperature changes had a novel, highly non‐uniform spatial structure, with up to 16 K cooling/19 K warming. Net warming occurred in low thermal inertia (TI) regions, where rapid night‐time radiative cooling was compensated by increased longwave emission and scattering. This caused strong nightside warming, outweighing dayside cooling. The reduced surface‐air temperature gradient closely coupled surface and air temperatures, even causing local dayside air warming. Results show good agreement with MCS surface temperature retrievals. Comparisons with the 2001 GDS and free‐running simulations show that GDS spatial structure is crucial in determining global surface temperature effects.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 66450
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 0094-8276
  • Project Funding Details
  • Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
    DTG 2015-16 (2016 INTAKE)ST/N50421X/1STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council)
    Characterizing the Martian water cycle by assimilating ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter dataST/R001405/1UKSA UK Space Agency
    Modelling and retrieval of martian dust, ice and ozone from ExoMars NOMAD dataST/P001262/1UKSA UK Space Agency
    Surface/atmosphere interactions from above and below.ST/S00145X/1UKSA UK Space Agency
    Not SetNot SetNASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
  • Keywords
  • Mars; Mars atmosphere; dust storm; data assimilation; Mars Climate Sounder
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
    Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2019 The Authors
  • Depositing User
  • Paul Streeter