Formulation of the dust emission scheme in the global aerosol-climate modeling system ECHAM5-HAM has been improved. Modifications on the surface aerodynamic roughness length, soil moisture and East-Asian soil properties are included in the parameterization, which result in a large impact on the threshold wind friction velocity for aeolian erosion and thus influence the simulated dust emission amount. The annual global mean of dust emission in the year 2000 is reduced by 76.5% and 2.2%, respectively, due to changes in the aerodynamic roughness length and the soil moisture. An inclusion of detailed East-Asian soil properties leads to an increase of 16.6% in the annual global mean of dust emission, which exhibits mainly in the arid and semi-arid areas of northern China and southern Mongolia. Reasonable values of annual global mean of dust emission, dust burden and total aerosol optical thickness can be obtained in the improved model. In addition, measurements of the surface dust concentrations are collected in dust source regions of East Asia, and verify a more realistic spatial distribution of dust emission in the improved model.