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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Since the 1980s several spaceborne sensors have been used to retrieve the aerosol optical depth (AOD) over the Mediterranean region. In parallel, AOD climatologies coming from different numerical model simulations are now also available, permitting to distinguish the contribution of several aerosol types to the total AOD. In this work, we perform a comparative analysis of this unique multiyear database in terms of total AOD and of its apportionment by the five main aerosol types (soil dust, seasalt, sulfate, black and organic carbon). We use 9 different satellite-derived monthly AOD products: NOAA/AVHRR, SeaWiFS (2 products), TERRA/MISR, TERRA/MODIS, AQUA/MODIS, ENVISAT/MERIS, PARASOL/POLDER and MSG/SEVIRI, as well as 3 more historical datasets: NIMBUS7/CZCS, TOMS (onboard NIMBUS7 and Earth- Probe) and METEOSAT/MVIRI. Monthly model datasets include the aerosol climatology from Tegen et al. (1997), the climate-chemistry models LMDz-OR-INCA and RegCM-4, the multi-model mean coming from the ACCMIP exercise, and the reanalyses GEMS and MACC. Ground-based Level- 2 AERONET AOD observations from 47 stations around the basin are used here to evaluate the model and satellite data. The sensor MODIS (on AQUA and TERRA) has the best average AOD scores over this region, showing a relevant spatio-temporal variability and highlighting high dust loads over Northern Africa and the sea (spring and summer), and sulfate aerosols over continental Europe (summer). The comparison also shows limitations of certain datasets (especially MERIS and SeaWiFS standard products). Models reproduce the main patterns of the AOD variability over the basin. The MACC reanalysis is the closest to AERONET data, but appears to underestimate dust over Northern Africa, where RegCM-4 is found closer to MODIS thanks to its interactive scheme for dust emissions. The vertical dimension is also investigated using the CALIOP instrument. This study confirms differences of vertical distribution between dust aerosols showing a large vertical spread, and other continental and marine aerosols which are confined in the boundary layer. From this compilation, we propose a 4-D blended product from model and satellite data, consisting in monthly time series of 3-D aerosol distribution at a 50 km horizontal resolution over the Euro-Mediterranean marine and continental region for the 2003-2009 period. The product is based on the total AOD from AQUA/MODIS, apportioned into sulfates, black and organic carbon from the MACC reanalysis, and into dust and sea-salt aerosols from RegCM-4 simulations, which are distributed vertically based on CALIOP climatology.We extend the 2003-2009 reconstruction to the past up to 1979 using the 2003-2009 average and applying the decreasing trend in sulfate aerosols from LMDz-OR-INCA, whose AOD trends over Europe and the Mediterranean are median among the ACCMIP models. Finally optical properties of the different aerosol types in this region are proposed from Mie calculations so that this reconstruction can be included in regional climate models for aerosol radiative forcing and aerosol-climate studies.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology; Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN9668 , Atmospheric Measurement Techniques; 6; 5; 1287-1314
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  • 2
    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
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2015-03-09
    Description: We have implemented a prognostic aerosol scheme (v1) in CNRM-CM6, the climate model of CNRM-GAME and CERFACS, based upon the GEMS/MACC aerosol module of the ECMWF operational forecast model. This scheme describes the physical evolution of the five main types of aerosols, namely black carbon, organic matter, sulfate, desert dust and sea salt. In this work, we describe the characteristics of our implementation, for instance, taking into consideration a different dust scheme or boosting biomass burning emissions by a factor of 2, as well as the evaluation performed on simulation output. The simulations consist of time slice simulations for 2004 conditions and transient runs over the 1993–2012 period, and are either free-running or nudged towards the ERA-Interim Reanalysis. Evaluation data sets include several satellite instrument AOD (aerosol optical depth) products (i.e., MODIS Aqua classic and Deep-Blue products, MISR and CALIOP products), as well as ground-based AERONET data and the derived AERONET climatology, MAC-v1. The uncertainty of aerosol-type seasonal AOD due to model internal variability is low over large parts of the globe, and the characteristics of a nudged simulation reflect those of a free-running simulation. In contrast, the impact of the new dust scheme is large, with modelled dust AODs from simulations with the new dust scheme close to observations. Overall patterns and seasonal cycles of the total AOD are well depicted with, however, a systematic low bias over oceans. The comparison to the fractional MAC-v1 AOD climatology shows disagreements mostly over continents, while that to AERONET sites outlines the capability of the model to reproduce monthly climatologies under very diverse dominant aerosol types. Here again, underestimation of the total AOD appears in several cases, sometimes linked to insufficient efficiency of the aerosol transport away from the aerosol sources. Analysis of monthly time series at 166 AERONET sites shows, in general, correlation coefficients higher than 0.5 and lower model variance than observed. A large interannual variability can also be seen in the CALIOP vertical profiles over certain regions of the world. Overall, this prognostic aerosol scheme appears promising for aerosol-climate studies. There is room, however, for implementing more complex parameterisations in relation to aerosols.
    Print ISSN: 1991-959X
    Electronic ISSN: 1991-9603
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2014-09-25
    Description: We have implemented a prognostic aerosol scheme in the CNRM-GAME/CERFACS climate model, based upon the GEMS/MACC aerosol module of the ECMWF operational forecast model. This scheme describes the physical evolution of the five main types of aerosols, namely black carbon, organic matter, sulfate, desert dust and sea-salt. In this work, we describe the specificities of our implementation, for instance, taking into consideration a different dust scheme or boosting biomass burning emissions by a factor of 2, as well as the evaluation performed on simulation outputs. The simulations consist of 2004 conditions and transient runs over the 1993–2012 period, and are either free-running or nudged towards the ERA-Interim Reanalysis. Evaluation data sets include several satellite instrument AOD products (i.e., MODIS Aqua classic and Deep-Blue products, MISR and CALIOP products), as well as ground-based AERONET data and the derived AERONET climatology, MAC-v1. The internal variability of the model has little impact on the seasonal climatology of the AODs of the various aerosols, and the characteristics of a nudged simulation reflect those of a free-running simulation. In contrast, the impact of the new dust scheme is large, with modelled dust AODs from simulations with the new dust scheme close to observations. Overall patterns and seasonal cycles of the total AOD are well depicted with, however, a systematic low bias over oceans. The comparison to the fractional MAC-v1 AOD climatology shows disagreements mostly over continents, while that to AERONET sites outlines the capability of the model to reproduce monthly climatologies under very diverse dominant aerosol types. Here again, underestimation of the total AOD appears in several cases, linked sometimes to insufficient efficiency of the aerosol transport away from the aerosol sources. Analysis of monthly time series at 166 AERONET sites shows, in general, correlation coefficients higher than 0.5 and lower model variance than observed. A large interannual variability can also be seen in the CALIOP vertical profiles over certain regions of the world. Overall, this prognostic aerosol scheme appears suitable for aerosol-climate studies. There is room, however, for implementing more complex parameterisations in relation to aerosols.
    Print ISSN: 1991-9611
    Electronic ISSN: 1991-962X
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 5
  • 6
    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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  • 7
    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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  • 8
  • 9
    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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  • 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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