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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Aerosol absorption properties are of high importance to assess aerosol impact on regional climate. This study presents an analysis of aerosol absorption products obtained over the Mediterranean Basin or land stations in the region from multi-year ground-based AERONET and satellite observations with a focus on the Absorbing Aerosol Optical Depth (AAOD), Single Scattering Albedo (SSA) and their spectral dependence. The AAOD and Absorption Angstrom Exponent (AAE) data set is composed of daily averaged AERONET level 2 data from a total of 22 Mediterranean stations having long time series, mainly under the influence of urban-industrial aerosols and/or soil dust. This data set covers the 17 yr period 1996-2012 with most data being from 2003-2011 (approximately 89 percent of level-2 AAOD data). Since AERONET level-2 absorption products require a high aerosol load (AOD at 440 nm greater than 0.4), which is most often related to the presence of desert dust, we also consider level-1.5 SSA data, despite their higher uncertainty, and filter out data with an Angstrom exponent less than 1.0 in order to study absorption by carbonaceous aerosols. The SSA data set includes both AERONET level-2 and satellite level-3 products. Satellite-derived SSA data considered are monthly level 3 products mapped at the regional scale for the spring and summer seasons that exhibit the largest aerosol loads. The satellite SSA dataset includes the following products: (i) Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) over 2000-2011, (ii) Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) near-UV algorithm over 2004-2010, and (iii) MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Deep-Blue algorithm over 2005-2011, derived only over land in dusty conditions. Sun-photometer observations show that values of AAOD at 440 nm vary between 0.024 +/- 0.01 (resp. 0.040 +/- 0.01) and 0.050 +/- 0.01 (0.055 +/- 0.01) for urban (dusty) sites. Analysis shows that the Mediterranean urban-industrial aerosols appear "moderately" absorbing with values of SSA close to approximately 0.94-0.95 +/- 0.04 (at 440 nm) in most cases except over the large cities of Rome and Athens, where aerosol appears more absorbing (SSA approximately 0.89-0.90 +/- 0.04). The aerosol Absorption Angstrom Exponent (AAE, estimated using 440 and 870 nm) is found to be larger than 1 for most sites over the Mediterranean, a manifestation of mineral dust (iron) and/or brown carbon producing the observed absorption. AERONET level-2 sun-photometer data indicate the existence of a moderate East-West gradient, with higher values over the eastern basin (AAEEast. = 1.39/AAEWest. = 1.33) due to the influence of desert dust. The North-South AAE gradient is more pronounced, especially over the western basin. Our additional analysis of AERONET level-1.5 data also shows that organic absorbing aerosols significantly affect some Mediterranean sites. These results indicate that current climate models treating organics as nonabsorbing over the Mediterranean certainly underestimate the warming effect due to carbonaceous aerosols. A~comparative analysis of the regional SSA variability has been attempted using satellite data. OMI and MODIS data show an absorbing zone (SSA approximately 0.90 at 470-500 nm) over Northeastern Africa that does not appear in the MISR retrievals. In contrast, MISR seems able to observe the East-West SSA gradient during summer, as also detected by AERONET. Also, the analysis of SSA provided by satellites indicates that the aerosol over the Mediterranean Sea appears less absorbing during spring (MAM) than summer (JJA).
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology; Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN8696 , Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions; 13; 4; 9267-9317
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2006-06-01
    Print ISSN: 0886-6236
    Electronic ISSN: 1944-9224
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Geography , Geosciences , Physics
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  • 3
  • 4
    Publication Date: 2014-10-02
    Description: The present study investigates the effects of aerosols on the Mediterranean climate daily variability during summer 2012. Simulations have been carried out using the coupled regional climate system model CNRM-RCSM5 which includes prognostic aerosols, namely desert dust, sea salt, organic, black-carbon and sulfate particles, in addition to the atmosphere, land surface and ocean components. An evaluation of the dust aerosol scheme of CNRM-RCSM5 has been performed against in-situ and satellite measurements. This scheme shows its ability to reproduce the spatial and temporal variability of aerosol optical depth (AOD) over the Mediterranean region in summer 2012. Observations from the TRAQA/ChArMEx campaign also show that the model correctly represents dust vertical and size distributions. Thus CNRM-RCSM5 can be used for aerosol–climate studies over the Mediterranean. Here we focus on the effects of dust particles on surface temperature and radiation daily variability. Surface shortwave aerosol radiative forcing variability is found to be more than twice higher over regions affected by dust aerosols, when using a prognostic aerosol scheme instead of a monthly climatology. In this case downward surface solar radiation is also found to be better reproduced according to a comparison with several stations across the Mediterranean. Moreover, the radiative forcing due to the dust outbreaks also causes an extra cooling in land and sea surface temperatures. A composite study has been carried out for 14 stations across the Mediterranean to identify more precisely the differences between dusty days and the set of all the days. Observations show that dusty days receive less radiation at the surface and are warmer than average because of southwesterly fluxes often generating dust outbreaks. Only the simulation using the prognostic aerosol scheme is found to reproduce the observed intensity of the dimming and warming on dusty days. Otherwise, the dimming is underestimated and the warming overestimated.
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7375
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2015-07-17
    Description: The Chemistry-Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment (ChArMEx; http://charmex.lsce.ipsl.fr) is a collaborative research program federating international activities to investigate Mediterranean regional chemistry-climate interactions. A special observing period (SOP-1a) including intensive airborne measurements was performed in the framework of the Aerosol Direct Radiative Forcing on the Mediterranean Climate (ADRIMED) project during the Mediterranean dry season over the western and central Mediterranean basins, with a focus on aerosol-radiation measurements and their modeling. The SOP-1a took place from 11 June to 5 July 2013. Airborne measurements were made by both the ATR-42 and F-20 French research aircraft operated from Sardinia (Italy) and instrumented for in situ and remote-sensing measurements, respectively, and by sounding and drifting balloons, launched in Minorca. The experimental set-up also involved several ground-based measurement sites on islands including two ground-based reference stations in Corsica and Lampedusa and secondary monitoring sites in Minorca and Sicily. Additional measurements including lidar profiling were also performed on alert during aircraft operations at EARLINET/ACTRIS stations at Granada and Barcelona in Spain, and in southern Italy. Remote sensing aerosol products from satellites (MSG/SEVIRI, MODIS) and from the AERONET/PHOTONS network were also used. Dedicated meso-scale and regional modelling experiments were performed in relation to this observational effort. We provide here an overview of the different surface and aircraft observations deployed during the ChArMEx/ADRIMED period and of associated modeling studies together with an analysis of the synoptic conditions that determined the aerosol emission and transport. Meteorological conditions observed during this campaign (moderate temperatures and southern flows) were not favorable to produce high level of atmospheric pollutants nor intense biomass burning events in the region. However, numerous mineral dust plumes were observed during the campaign with main sources located in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, leading to aerosol optical depth (AOD) values ranging between 0.2 to 0.6 (at 440 nm) over the western and central Mediterranean basins. Associated aerosol extinction values measured on-board the ATR-42 within the dust plume show local maxima reaching up to 150 Mm−1. Non negligible aerosol extinction (about 50 Mm−1) was also been observed within the Marine Boundary Layer (MBL). By combining ATR-42 extinction, absorption and scattering measurements, a complete optical closure has been made revealing excellent agreement with estimated optical properties. Associated calculations of the dust single scattering albedo (SSA) have been conducted, which show a moderate variability (from 0.90 to 1.00 at 530 nm). In parallel, active remote-sensing observations from the surface and onboard the F-20 aircraft suggest a complex vertical structure of particles and distinct aerosol layers with sea-salt and pollution located within the MBL, and mineral dust and/or aged north American smoke particles located above (up to 6–7 km in altitude). Aircraft and balloon-borne observations show particle size distributions characterized by large aerosols (〉 10 μm in diameter) within dust plumes. In terms of shortwave (SW) direct forcing, in-situ surface and aircraft observations have been merged and used as inputs in 1-D radiative transfer codes for calculating the direct radiative forcing (DRF). Results show significant surface SW instantaneous forcing (up to −90 W m−2 at noon). Associated 3-D modeling studies from regional climate (RCM) and chemistry transport (CTM) models indicate a relatively good agreement for simulated AOD compared with measurements/observations from the AERONET/PHOTONS network and satellite data, especially for long-range dust transport. Calculations of the 3-D SW (clear-sky) surface DRF indicate an average of about −10 to −20 W m−2 (for the whole period) over the Mediterranean Sea together with maxima (−50 W m−2) over northern Africa. The top of the atmosphere (TOA) DRF is shown to be highly variable within the domain, due to moderate absorbing properties of dust and changes in the surface albedo. Indeed, 3-D simulations indicate negative forcing over the Mediterranean Sea and Europe and positive forcing over northern Africa.
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7375
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 6
  • 7
    Publication Date: 2014-05-21
    Description: This paper presents a new application of assimilating lidar signals to aerosol forecasting. It aims at investigating the impact of a ground-based lidar network on analysis and short-term forecasts of aerosols through a case study in the Mediterranean. To do so, we employ a data assimilation (DA) algorithm based on the optimal interpolation method developed in the chemistry transport model (CTM) {Polair3D of the air quality modelling platform POLYPHEMUS. We assimilate hourly-averaged normalised range corrected lidar signals (PR2) retrieved from a 72 h period of intensive and continuous measurements performed in July 2012 by ground-based lidar systems of the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) integrated into the Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure Network (ACTRIS) and an additional system in Corsica deployed in the framework of the pre-ChArMEx (Chemistry-Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment)/TRAQA (TRAnsport à longue distance et Qualité de l'Air) campaign. This lidar campaign was dedicated to demonstrating the potential operationality of a research network like EARLINET and the potential usefulness of assimilation of lidar signals to aerosol forecasts. Particles with an aerodynamic diameter lower than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and those with an aerodynamic diameter higher than 2.5 μm but lower than 10 μm (PM2.5–10) are analysed separately using the lidar observations at each DA step. First, we study the spatial and temporal influences of the assimilation of lidar signals on aerosol forecasting. We conduct sensitivity studies on algorithmic parameters, e.g. the horizontal correlation length (Lh) used in the background error covariance matrix (50 km, 100 km or 200 km), the altitudes at which DA is performed (0.75–3.5 km, 1.0–3.5 km or 1.5–3.5 km a.g.l.) and the assimilation period length (12 h or 24 h). We find that DA with Lh = 100 km and assimilation from 1.0 to 3.5 km a.g.l. during a 12 h assimilation period length leads to the best scores for PM10 and PM2.5 during the forecast period with reference to available measurements from surface networks. Secondly, the aerosol simulation results without and with lidar DA using the optimal parameters (Lh
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7375
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2013-09-16
    Description: Aerosol absorption properties are of high importance to assess aerosol impact on regional climate. This study presents an analysis of aerosol absorption products obtained over the Mediterranean basin or land stations in the region from multi-year ground-based AERONET observations with a focus on the Absorbing Aerosol Optical Depth (AAOD), Single Scattering Albedo (SSA) and their spectral dependence. The AAOD and Absorption Angström Exponent (AAE) dataset is composed of daily averaged AERONET level 2 data from a total of 22 Mediterranean stations having long time series, mainly under the influence of urban-industrial aerosols and/or soil dust. This dataset covers the 17-yr period 1996–2012 with most data being from 2003–2011 (~89% of level-2 AAOD data). Since AERONET level-2 absorption products require a high aerosol load (AOD at 440 nm 〉 0.4), which is most often related to the presence of desert dust, we also consider level-1.5 SSA data, despite their higher uncertainty, and filter out data with an Angström exponent 〈 1.0 in order to study absorption by carbonaceous aerosols. The SSA dataset includes AERONET level-2 products. Sun-photometer observations show that values of AAOD at 440 nm vary between 0.024 ± 0.01 (resp. 0.040 ± 0.01) and 0.050 ± 0.01 (0.055 ± 0.01) for urban (dusty) sites. Analysis shows that the Mediterranean urban-industrial aerosols appear "moderately" absorbing with values of SSA close to ~0.94–0.95 ± 0.04 (at 440 nm) in most cases except over the large cities of Rome and Athens, where aerosol appears more absorbing (SSA ~0.89–0.90 ± 0.04). The aerosol Absorption Angström Exponent (AAE, estimated using 440 and 870 nm) is found to be larger than 1 for most sites over the Mediterranean, a manifestation of mineral dust (iron) and/or brown carbon producing the observed absorption. AERONET level-2 sun-photometer data indicate a possible East-West gradient, with higher values over the eastern basin (AAEEast = 1.39/AAEWest = 1.33). The North-South AAE gradient is more pronounced, especially over the western basin. Our additional analysis of AERONET level-1.5 data also shows that organic absorbing aerosols significantly affect some Mediterranean sites. These results indicate that current climate models treating organics as nonabsorbing over the Mediterranean certainly underestimate the warming effect due to carbonaceous aerosols.
    Print ISSN: 1680-7316
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7324
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2014-11-17
    Description: This paper presents a new application of assimilating lidar signals to aerosol forecasting. It aims at investigating the impact of a ground-based lidar network on the analysis and short-term forecasts of aerosols through a case study in the Mediterranean basin. To do so, we employ a data assimilation (DA) algorithm based on the optimal interpolation method developed in the Polair3D chemistry transport model (CTM) of the Polyphemus air quality modelling platform. We assimilate hourly averaged normalised range-corrected lidar signals (PR2) retrieved from a 72 h period of intensive and continuous measurements performed in July 2012 by ground-based lidar systems of the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) integrated into the Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure (ACTRIS) network and an additional system in Corsica deployed in the framework of the pre-ChArMEx (Chemistry-Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment)/TRAQA (TRAnsport à longue distance et Qualité de l'Air) campaign. This lidar campaign was dedicated to demonstrating the potential operationality of a research network like EARLINET and the potential usefulness of assimilation of lidar signals to aerosol forecasts. Particles with an aerodynamic diameter lower than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and those with an aerodynamic diameter higher than 2.5 μm but lower than 10 μm (PM10–2.5) are analysed separately using the lidar observations at each DA step. First, we study the spatial and temporal influences of the assimilation of lidar signals on aerosol forecasting. We conduct sensitivity studies on algorithmic parameters, e.g. the horizontal correlation length (Lh) used in the background error covariance matrix (50 km, 100 km or 200 km), the altitudes at which DA is performed (0.75–3.5 km, 1.0–3.5 km or 1.5–3.5 km a.g.l.) and the assimilation period length (12 h or 24 h). We find that DA with Lh = 100 km and assimilation from 1.0 to 3.5 km a.g.l. during a 12 h assimilation period length leads to the best scores for PM10 and PM2.5 during the forecast period with reference to available measurements from surface networks. Secondly, the aerosol simulation results without and with lidar DA using the optimal parameters (Lh = 100 km, an assimilation altitude range from 1.0 to 3.5 km a.g.l. and a 12 h DA period) are evaluated using the level 2.0 (cloud-screened and quality-assured) aerosol optical depth (AOD) data from AERONET, and mass concentration measurements (PM10 or PM2.5) from the French air quality (BDQA) network and the EMEP-Spain/Portugal network. The results show that the simulation with DA leads to better scores than the one without DA for PM2.5, PM10and AOD. Additionally, the comparison of model results to evaluation data indicates that the temporal impact of assimilating lidar signals is longer than 36 h after the assimilation period.
    Print ISSN: 1680-7316
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7324
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2015-03-24
    Description: The present study investigates the radiative effects of dust aerosols in the Mediterranean region during summer 2012 using a coupled regional aerosol–atmosphere–ocean model (CNRM-RCSM5). A prognostic aerosol scheme, including desert dust, sea salt, organic, black-carbon and sulphate particles, has been integrated to CNRM-RCSM5 in addition to the atmosphere, land surface and ocean components. An evaluation of this aerosol scheme of CNRM-RCSM5, and especially of the dust aerosols, has been performed against in situ and satellite measurements, showing its ability to reproduce the spatial and temporal variability of aerosol optical depth (AOD) over the Mediterranean region in summer 2012. The dust vertical and size distributions have also been evaluated against observations from the TRAQA/ChArMEx campaign. Three simulations have been carried out for summer 2012 with CNRM-RCSM5, including the full prognostic aerosol scheme, only monthly-averaged AOD means from the aerosol scheme or no aerosols at all, in order to focus on the radiative effects of dust particles and the role of the prognostic scheme. Surface short-wave aerosol radiative forcing variability is found to be more than twice as high over regions affected by dust aerosols, when using a prognostic aerosol scheme instead of monthly AOD means. In this case downward surface solar radiation is also found to be better reproduced according to a comparison with several stations across the Mediterranean. A composite study over 14 stations across the Mediterranean, designed to identify days with high dust AOD, also reveals the improvement of the representation of surface temperature brought by the use of the prognostic aerosol scheme. Indeed the surface receives less radiation during dusty days, but only the simulation using the prognostic aerosol scheme is found to reproduce the observed intensity of the dimming and warming on dusty days. Moreover, the radiation and temperature averages over summer 2012 are also modified by the use of prognostic aerosols, mainly because of the differences brought in short-wave aerosol radiative forcing variability. Therefore this first comparison over summer 2012 highlights the importance of the choice of the representation of aerosols in climate models.
    Print ISSN: 1680-7316
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7324
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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