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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Interest in stratospheric aerosol and its role in climate have increased over the last decade due to the observed increase in stratospheric aerosol since 2000 and the potential for changes in the sulfur cycle induced by climate change. This review provides an overview about the advances in stratospheric aerosol research since the last comprehensive assessment of stratospheric aerosol was published in 2006. A crucial development since 2006 is the substantial improvement in the agreement between in situ and space-based inferences of stratospheric aerosol properties during volcanically quiescent periods. Furthermore, new measurement systems and techniques, both in situ and space based, have been developed for measuring physical aerosol properties with greater accuracy and for characterizing aerosol composition. However, these changes induce challenges to constructing a long-term stratospheric aerosol climatology. Currently, changes in stratospheric aerosol levels less than 20% cannot be confidently quantified. The volcanic signals tend to mask any nonvolcanically driven change, making them difficult to understand. While the role of carbonyl sulfide as a substantial and relatively constant source of stratospheric sulfur has been confirmed by new observations and model simulations, large uncertainties remain with respect to the contribution from anthropogenic sulfur dioxide emissions. New evidence has been provided that stratospheric aerosol can also contain small amounts of nonsulfatematter such as black carbon and organics. Chemistry-climate models have substantially increased in quantity and sophistication. In many models the implementation of stratospheric aerosol processes is coupled to radiation and/or stratospheric chemistry modules to account for relevant feedback processes.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: NF1676L-24524 , Reviews of Geophysics (e-ISSN 1944-9208); 54; 2; 278-335
    Format: text
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: The Rim Fire of 2013, the third largest area burned by fire recorded in California history, is simulated by a climate model coupled with a size-resolved aerosol model. Modeled aerosol mass, number and particle size distribution are within variability of data obtained from multiple airborne in-situ measurements. Simulations suggest Rim Fire smoke may block 4-6 of sunlight energy reaching the surface, with a dimming efficiency around 120-150 W m(exp -2) per unit aerosol optical depth in the mid-visible at 13:00-15:00 local time. Underestimation of simulated smoke single scattering albedo at mid-visible by 0.04 suggests the model overestimates either the particle size or the absorption due to black carbon. This study shows that exceptional events like the 2013 Rim Fire can be simulated by a climate model with one-degree resolution with overall good skill, though that resolution is still not sufficient to resolve the smoke peak near the source region.
    Keywords: Geosciences (General)
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN41437 , Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (ISSN 2169-897X) (e-ISSN 2169-8996); 121; 12; 7079–7087
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-09-23
    Description: Interest in stratospheric aerosol and its role in climate have increased over the last decade due to the observed increase in stratospheric aerosol since 2000 and the potential for changes in the sulfur cycle induced by climate change. This review provides an overview about the advances in stratospheric aerosol research since the last comprehensive assessment of stratospheric aerosol was published in 2006. A crucial development since 2006 is the substantial improvement in the agreement between in situ and space-based inferences of stratospheric aerosol properties during volcanically quiescent periods. Furthermore, new measurement systems and techniques, both in situ and space based, have been developed for measuring physical aerosol properties with greater accuracy and for characterizing aerosol composition. However, these changes induce challenges to constructing a long-term stratospheric aerosol climatology. Currently, changes in stratospheric aerosol levels less than 20% cannot be confidently quantified. The volcanic signals tend to mask any nonvolcanically driven change, making them difficult to understand. While the role of carbonyl sulfide as a substantial and relatively constant source of stratospheric sulfur has been confirmed by new observations and model simulations, large uncertainties remain with respect to the contribution from anthropogenic sulfur dioxide emissions. New evidence has been provided that stratospheric aerosol can also contain small amounts of nonsulfate matter such as black carbon and organics. Chemistry-climate models have substantially increased in quantity and sophistication. In many models the implementation of stratospheric aerosol processes is coupled to radiation and/or stratospheric chemistry modules to account for relevant feedback processes
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2018-01-19
    Description: Organic aerosols (OA) that strongly absorb solar radiation in the near-UV are referred to as brown carbon (BrC). The sources, evolution, and optical properties of BrC remain highly uncertain and contribute significantly to uncertainty in the estimate of the global direct radiative effect (DRE) of aerosols. Previous modeling studies of BrC optical properties and DRE have been unable to fully evaluate model performance due to the lack of direct measurements of BrC absorption. In this study, we develop a global model simulation (GEOS-Chem) of BrC and test it against BrC absorption measurements from two aircraft campaigns in the continental US (SEAC4RS and DC3). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to compare simulated BrC absorption with direct aircraft measurements. We show that BrC absorption properties estimated based on previous laboratory measurements agree with the aircraft measurements of freshly emitted BrC absorption but overestimate aged BrC absorption. In addition, applying a photochemical scheme to simulate bleaching/degradation of BrC improves model skill. The airborne observations are therefore consistent with a mass absorption coefficient (MAC) of freshly emitted biomass burning OA of 1.33m2g−1 at 365nm coupled with a 1-day whitening e-folding time. Using the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model integrated with the RRTMG radiative transfer model, we estimate that the top-of-the-atmosphere all-sky direct radiative effect (DRE) of OA is −0.344Wm−2, 10% higher than that without consideration of BrC absorption. Therefore, our best estimate of the absorption DRE of BrC is +0.048Wm−2. We suggest that the DRE of BrC has been overestimated previously due to the lack of observational constraints from direct measurements and omission of the effects of photochemical whitening.
    Print ISSN: 1680-7316
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7324
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-06-06
    Description: From 2016 to 2018 a DC-8 aircraft operated by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) made four series of flights, profiling the atmosphere from 180 m to ∼12 km above sea level (km a.s.l.) from the Arctic to the Antarctic over both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This program, the Atmospheric Tomography Mission (ATom), sought to sample the troposphere in a representative manner, making measurements of atmospheric composition in each season. This paper describes the aerosol microphysical measurements and derived quantities obtained during this mission. Dry size distributions from 2.7 nm to 4.8 µm in diameter were measured in situ at 1 Hz using a battery of instruments: 10 condensation particle counters with different nucleation diameters, two ultra-high-sensitivity aerosol size spectrometers (UHSASs), one of which measured particles surviving heating to 300 ∘C, and a laser aerosol spectrometer (LAS). The dry aerosol measurements were complemented by size distribution measurements from 0.5 to 930 µm diameter at near-ambient conditions using a cloud, aerosol, and precipitation spectrometer (CAPS) mounted under the wing of the DC-8. Dry aerosol number, surface area, and volume, and optical scattering and asymmetry parameters at several wavelengths from the near-UV to the near-IR ranges were calculated from the measured dry size distributions (2.7 nm to 4.8 µm). Dry aerosol mass was estimated by combining the size distribution data with particle density estimated from independent measurements of aerosol composition with a high-resolution aerosol mass spectrometer and a single-particle soot photometer. We describe the instrumentation and fully document the aircraft inlet and flow distribution system, the derivation of uncertainties, and the calculation of data products from combined size distributions. Comparisons between the instruments and direct measurements of some aerosol properties confirm that in-flight performance was consistent with calibrations and within stated uncertainties for the two deployments analyzed. The unique ATom dataset contains accurate, precise, high-resolution in situ measurements of dry aerosol size distributions, and integral parameters, and estimates and measurements of optical properties, for particles 〈 4.8 µm in diameter that can be used to evaluate aerosol abundance and processes in global models.
    Print ISSN: 1867-1381
    Electronic ISSN: 1867-8548
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-02-08
    Description: Particle morphology is an important parameter affecting aerosol optical properties that are relevant to climate and air quality, yet it is poorly constrained due to sparse in situ measurements. Biomass burning is a large source of aerosol that generates particles with different morphologies. Quantifying the optical contributions of non-spherical aerosol populations is critical for accurate radiative transfer models, and for correctly interpreting remote sensing data. We deployed a laser imaging nephelometer at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory to sample biomass burning aerosol from controlled fires during the FIREX intensive laboratory study. The laser imaging nephelometer measures the unpolarized scattering phase function of an aerosol ensemble using diode lasers at 375 and 405nm. Scattered light from the bulk aerosol in the instrument is imaged onto a charge-coupled device (CCD) using a wide-angle field-of-view lens, which allows for measurements at 4–175∘ scattering angle with ∼0.5∘ angular resolution. Along with a suite of other instruments, the laser imaging nephelometer sampled fresh smoke emissions both directly and after removal of volatile components with a thermodenuder at 250∘C. The total integrated aerosol scattering signal agreed with both a cavity ring-down photoacoustic spectrometer system and a traditional integrating nephelometer within instrumental uncertainties. We compare the measured scattering phase functions at 405nm to theoretical models for spherical (Mie) and fractal (Rayleigh–Debye–Gans) particle morphologies based on the size distribution reported by an optical particle counter. Results from representative fires demonstrate that particle morphology can vary dramatically for different fuel types. In some cases, the measured phase function cannot be described using Mie theory. This study demonstrates the capabilities of the laser imaging nephelometer instrument to provide realtime, in situ information about dominant particle morphology, which is vital for understanding remote sensing data and accurately describing the aerosol population in radiative transfer calculations.
    Print ISSN: 1680-7316
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7324
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2017-09-13
    Description: Particle morphology is an important parameter affecting aerosol optical properties that are relevant to climate and air quality, yet it is poorly constrained due to sparse in situ measurements. Biomass burning is a large source of aerosol that generates particles with different morphologies. Quantifying the optical contributions of non-spherical aerosol populations is critical for accurate radiative transfer models, and for correctly interpreting remote sensing data. We deployed a laser imaging nephelometer at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory to sample biomass burning aerosol from controlled fires during the FIREX intensive laboratory study. The laser imaging nephelometer measures the unpolarized scattering phase function of an aerosol ensemble using diode lasers at 375 nm and 405 nm. Scattered light from the bulk aerosol in the instrument is imaged onto a CCD using a wide-angle field-of-view lens, which allows for measurements at 4–175° scattering angle with ~ 0.5° angular resolution. Along with a suite of other instruments, the laser imaging nephelometer sampled fresh smoke emissions both directly and after removal of volatile components with a thermodenuder at 250 °C. The total integrated aerosol scattering signal agreed with both a cavity ring-down photoacoustic spectrometer system and a traditional integrating nephelometer within instrumental uncertainties. We compare the measured scattering phase functions at 405 nm to theoretical models for spherical (Mie) and fractal (Rayleigh-Debye-Gans) particle morphologies based on the size distribution reported by an optical particle counter. Results from representative fires demonstrate that particle morphology can vary dramatically for different fuel types. In some cases, the measured phase function cannot be described using Mie theory. This study demonstrates the capabilities of the laser imaging nephelometer instrument to provide real-time, in situ information about dominant particle morphology, which is vital for understanding remote sensing data and accurately describing the aerosol population in radiative transfer calculations.
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7375
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2016-10-07
    Description: Real-time, single particle fluorescence instruments used to detect atmospheric bioaerosol particles are increasingly common, yet no standard fluorescence calibration method exists for this technique. This limits the utility of these instruments as quantitative tools and complicates comparisons between different measurement campaigns. To address this need we have developed a method to produce size-selected particles with a known mass of fluorophore, which we use to calibrate the fluorescence detection of a Wide-band Integrated Bioaerosol Sensor (WIBS-4A). We use mixed tryptophan-ammonium sulfate particles to calibrate one detector (FL1; excitation = 280 nm; emission = 310–400 nm), and pure quinine particles to calibrate the other (FL2; excitation = 280 nm; emission = 420–650 nm). This procedure allows users to set the detector gains to achieve a known absolute response, calculate the limits of detection for a given instrument, improve repeatability of instrumental set- up, and facilitate intercomparisons between different instruments. We recommend calibration of single-particle fluorescence instruments using these methods.
    Electronic ISSN: 1867-8610
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-01-23
    Description: Convective systems dominate the vertical transport of aerosols and trace gases. The most recent in situ aerosol measurements presented here show that the concentrations of primary aerosols including sea salt and black carbon drop by factors of 10 to 10,000 from the surface to the upper troposphere. In this study we show that the default convective transport scheme in the National Science Foundation/Department of Energy Community Earth System Model results in a high bias of 10–1,000 times the measured aerosol mass for black carbon and sea salt in the middle and upper troposphere. A modified transport scheme, which considers aerosol activation from entrained air above the cloud base and aerosol-cloud interaction associated with convection, dramatically improves model agreement with in situ measurements suggesting that deep convection can efficiently remove primary aerosols. We suggest that models that fail to consider secondary activation may overestimate black carbon's radiative forcing by a factor of 2. ©2018. The Authors.
    Print ISSN: 0094-8276
    Electronic ISSN: 1944-8007
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2018-07-27
    Description: Recently, the aerosol microphysics submodel MADE3 was introduced as a successor to MADE and MADE-in. It includes nine aerosol species and nine lognormal modes to represent aerosol particles of three different mixing states throughout the aeroso size spectrum. Here we describe the implementation of the most recent version of MADE3 into the atmospheric chemistry general circulation model EMAC, including a detailed evaluation of a ten-year aerosol simulation with MADE3 as part of EMAC. We compare simulation output to station network measurements of near-surface aerosol component mass concentrations, to airborne measurements of aerosol mass mixing ratio and number concentration vertical profiles, to ground-based and airborne measurements of particle size distributions, and to station network and satellite measurements of aerosol optical depth. Furthermore, we describe and apply a new evaluation method, which allows a comparison of model output to size-resolved electron microscopy measurements of particle composition. Although there are indications that fine mode particle deposition may be underestimated by the model, we obtained satisfactory agreement with the observations. Remaining deviations are of similar size as those identified in other global aerosol model studies. Thus, MADE3 can be considered ready for application within EMAC. Due to its detailed representation of aerosol mixing state, it is especially useful for simulating wet and dry removal of aerosol particles, aerosol-induced formation of cloud droplets and ice crystals as well as aerosol-radiation interactions. Besides studies on these fundamental processes, we also plan to use MADE3 for a reassessment of the climate effects of anthropogenic aerosol perturbations.
    Print ISSN: 1991-9611
    Electronic ISSN: 1991-962X
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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