We appreciate reviewer A’s evaluation that the paper presents a thorough description of the April 98 Asian dust clouds. Reviewer A’s major concern is whether the paper is a summary of other papers or is a research paper by itself.
The paper is intended to be a self-sufficient research paper, not a summary of other research papers. To our knowledge, all the data presented in this paper are original, unpublished contributions by the ‘virtual community’. Also, the analysis presented in the paper is original. References to other works are made when they corroborate, supplement or contradict the content of our paper.
Following reviewer A’s comments, we recognize that many of the cross-references were made inappropriately; e.g. there is no need to have a separate section on modeling when modeling was not explicitly part of the present work. In our revised manuscript the modeling section is eliminated. Also, cross-referencing of other papers is made more sparingly.
Responses to reviewer A’ specific points:
1. Figure numbering is now in the sequence of first appearance
2. The description of ‘virtual workgroup’ and its activity is shortened and confined to the Introduction and one sentence in the Discussion sections
3. The split discussions of figures is now consolidated
4. The section on modeling is eliminated. References to models are made only as cross-references.
5. The map preparation of Fig. 5 is stated
6. Figures 2 and 3 and most others are enhanced with additional labeling
Other substantial changes in the paper included restructuring the presentation into a chronological order and cutting the number of Figures from 12 to 9.
We appreciate reviewer A’s constructive comments. His comments have improved the content and form of the paper.