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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-01-22
    Description: The global tropospheric budget of gaseous and particulate non-methane organic matter (OM) is re-examined to provide a holistic view of the role that OM plays in transporting the essential nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus to the ocean. A global 3-dimensional chemistry-transport model was used to construct the first global picture of atmospheric transport and deposition of the organic nitrogen (ON) and organic phosphorus (OP) that are associated with OM, focusing on the soluble fractions of these nutrients. Model simulations agree with observations within an order of magnitude. Depending on location, the observed water soluble ON fraction ranges from similar to 3% to 90% (median of similar to 35%) of total soluble N in rainwater; soluble OP ranges from similar to 20-83% (median of similar to 35%) of total soluble phosphorus. The simulations suggest that the global ON cycle has a strong anthropogenic component with similar to 45% of the overall atmospheric source (primary and secondary) associated with anthropogenic activities. In contrast, only 10% of atmospheric OP is emitted from human activities. The model-derived present-day soluble ON and OP deposition to the global ocean is estimated to be similar to 16 Tg-N/yr and similar to 0.35 Tg-P/yr respectively with an order of magnitude uncertainty. Of these amounts similar to 40% and similar to 6%, respectively, are associated with anthropogenic activities, and 33% and 90% are recycled oceanic materials. Therefore, anthropogenic emissions are having a greater impact on the ON cycle than the OP cycle; consequently increasing emissions may increase P-limitation in the oligotrophic regions of the world's ocean that rely on atmospheric deposition as an important nutrient source.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The enhancement of the stratospheric aerosol layer by volcanic eruptions induces a complex set of responses causing global and regional climate effects on a broad range of timescales. Uncertainties exist regarding the climatic response to strong volcanic forcing identified in coupled climate simulations that contributed to the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). In order to better understand the sources of these model diversities, the Model Intercomparison Project on the climatic response to Volcanic forcing (VolMIP) has defined a coordinated set of idealized volcanic perturbation experiments to be carried out in alignment with the CMIP6 protocol. VolMIP provides a common stratospheric aerosol data set for each experiment to minimize differences in the applied volcanic forcing. It defines a set of initial conditions to assess how internal climate variability contributes to determining the response. VolMIP will assess to what extent volcanically forced responses of the coupled ocean–atmosphere system are robustly simulated by state-of-the-art coupled climate models and identify the causes that limit robust simulated behavior, especially differences in the treatment of physical processes. This paper illustrates the design of the idealized volcanic perturbation experiments in the VolMIP protocol and describes the common aerosol forcing input data sets to be used.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2016-11-04
    Description: Many detection and attribution and pattern scaling studies assume that the global climate response to multiple forcings is additive: that the response over the historical period is statistically indistinguishable from the sum of the responses to individual forcings. Here, we use the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate System Model (CCSM) simulations from the CMIP5 archive to test this assumption for multi-year trends in global-average, annual-average temperature and precipitation at multiple timescales. We find that responses in models forced by pre-computed aerosol and ozone concentrations are generally additive across forcings; however, we demonstrate that there are significant nonlinearities in precipitation responses to dierent forcings in a configuration of the GISS model that interactively computes these concentrations from precursor emissions. We attribute these to dierences in ozone forcing arising from interactions between forcing agents. Our results suggest that attribution to specific forcings may be complicated in a model with fully interactive chemistry and may provide motivation for other modeling groups to conduct further single-forcing experiments.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN26978 , Environmental Research Letters (e-ISSN 1748-9326); Volume 10; No. 10; 104010
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Concentrations of atmospheric trace species in the United States have changed dramatically over the past several decades in response to pollution control strategies, shifts in domestic energy policy and economics, and economic development (and resulting emission changes) elsewhere in the world. Reliable projections of the future atmosphere require models to not only accurately describe current atmospheric concentrations, but to do so by representing chemical, physical and biological processes with conceptual and quantitative fidelity. Only through incorporation of the processes controlling emissions and chemical mechanisms that represent the key transformations among reactive molecules can models reliably project the impacts of future policy, energy and climate scenarios. Efforts to properly identify and implement the fundamental and controlling mechanisms in atmospheric models benefit from intensive observation periods, during which collocated measurements of diverse, speciated chemicals in both the gas and condensed phases are obtained. The Southeast Atmosphere Studies (SAS, including SENEX, SOAS, NOMADSS and SEAC4RS) conducted during the summer of 2013 provided an unprecedented opportunity for the atmospheric modeling community to come together to evaluate, diagnose and improve the representation of fundamental climate and air quality processes in models of varying temporal and spatial scales. This paper is aimed at discussing progress in evaluating, diagnosing and improving air quality and climate modeling using comparisons to SAS observations as a guide to thinking about improvements to mechanisms and parameterizations in models. The effort focused primarily on model representation of fundamental atmospheric processes that are essential to the formation of ozone, secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and other trace species in the troposphere, with the ultimate goal of understanding the radiative impacts of these species in the southeast and elsewhere. Here we address questions surrounding four key themes: gas-phase chemistry, aerosol chemistry, regional climate and chemistry interactions, and natural and anthropogenic emissions. We expect this review to serve as a guidance for future modeling efforts.
    Keywords: Environment Pollution
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN55273 , Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ISSN 1680-7316) (e-ISSN 1680-7324); 18; 4; 2615-2651
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Atmospheric aerosols from anthropogenic and natural sources reach the polar regions through long-range transport and affect the local radiation balance. Such transport is, however, poorly constrained in present-day global climate models, and few multi-model evaluations of polar anthropogenic aerosol radiative forcing exist. Here we compare the aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 550 nm from simulations with 16 global aerosol models from the AeroCom Phase II model intercomparison project with available observations at both poles. We show that the annual mean multi-model median is representative of the observations in Arctic, but that the intermodel spread is large. We also document the geographical distribution and seasonal cycle of the AOD for the individual aerosol species: black carbon (BC) from fossil fuel and biomass burning, sulfate, organic aerosols (OAs), dust, and sea-salt. For a subset of models that represent nitrate and secondary organic aerosols (SOAs), we document the role of these aerosols at high latitudes. The seasonal dependence of natural and anthropogenic aerosols differs with natural aerosols peaking in winter (seasalt) and spring (dust), whereas AOD from anthropogenic aerosols peaks in late spring and summer. The models produce a median annual mean AOD of 0.07 in the Arctic (defined here as north of 60 degrees N). The models also predict a noteworthy aerosol transport to the Antarctic (south of 70 degrees S) with a resulting AOD varying between 0.01 and 0.02. The models have estimated the shortwave anthropogenic radiative forcing contributions to the direct aerosol effect (DAE) associated with BC and OA from fossil fuel and biofuel (FF), sulfate, SOAs, nitrate, and biomass burning from BC and OA emissions combined. The Arctic modelled annual mean DAE is slightly negative (-0.12 W m(exp. -2), dominated by a positive BC FF DAE in spring and a negative sulfate DAE in summer. The Antarctic DAE is governed by BC FF. We perform sensitivity experiments with one of the AeroCom models (GISS modelE) to investigate how regional emissions of BC and sulfate and the lifetime of BC influence the Arctic and Antarctic AOD. A doubling of emissions in eastern Asia results in a 33 percent increase in Arctic AOD of BC. A doubling of the BC lifetime results in a 39 percent increase in Arctic AOD of BC. However, these radical changes still fall within the AeroCom model range.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology; Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN48871 , Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ISSN 1680-7316) (e-ISSN 1680-7324); 17; 19; 12197-12218
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: The enhancement of the stratospheric aerosol layer by volcanic eruptions induces a complex set of responses causing global and regional climate effects on a broad range of timescales. Uncertainties exist regarding the climatic response to strong volcanic forcing identified in coupled climate simulations that contributed to the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). In order to better understand the sources of these model diversities, the Model Intercomparison Project on the climatic response to Volcanic forcing (VolMIP) has defined a coordinated set of idealized volcanic perturbation experiments to be carried out in alignment with the CMIP6 protocol. VolMIP provides a common stratospheric aerosol data set for each experiment to minimize differences in the applied volcanic forcing. It defines a set of initial conditions to assess how internal climate variability contributes to determining the response. VolMIP will assess to what extent volcanically forced responses of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system are robustly simulated by state-of-the-art coupled climate models and identify the causes that limit robust simulated behavior, especially differences in the treatment of physical processes. This paper illustrates the design of the idealized volcanic perturbation experiments in the VolMIP protocol and describes the common aerosol forcing input data sets to be used.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN35090 , Geoscientific Model Development (e-ISSN 1991-9603); 9; 8; 2701-2719
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Particulate matter is a major concern for public health, causing cancer and cardiopulmonary mortality. Therefore, governments in most industrialized countries monitor and set limits for particulate matter. To assist policy makers, it is important to connect the chemical composition and severity of particulate pollution to its sources. Here we show how agricultural practices, livestock production, and the use of nitrogen fertilizers impact near-surface air quality. In many densely populated areas, aerosols formed from gases that are released by fertilizer application and animal husbandry dominate over the combined contributions from all other anthropogenic pollution. Here we test reduction scenarios of combustion-based and agricultural emissions that could lower air pollution. For a future scenario, we find opposite trends, decreasing nitrate aerosol formation near the surface while total tropospheric loads increase. This suggests that food production could be increased to match the growing global population without sacrificing air quality if combustion emission is decreased.
    Keywords: Life Sciences (General); Environment Pollution
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN32482 , Geophysical Research Letters; 43; 10; 5394-5400
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Despite their importance and ubiquity in the atmosphere, organic aerosols are still very poorly parameterized in global models. This can be explained by two reasons: first, a very large number of unconstrained parameters are involved in accurate parameterizations, and second, a detailed description of semi-volatile organics is computationally very expensive. Even organic aerosol properties that are known to play a major role in the atmosphere, namely volatility and aging, are poorly resolved in global models, if at all. Studies with different models and different parameterizations have not been conclusive on whether the additional complexity improves model simulations, but the added diversity of the different host models used adds an unnecessary degree of variability in the evaluation of results that obscures solid conclusions. Aerosol microphysics do not significantly alter the mean OA vertical profile or comparison with surface measurements. This might not be the case for semi-volatile OA with microphysics.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN28661 , IAMA CONFERENCE 2015; 9-11 Dec. 2015; Davis, CA; United States
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Recent trends in global mean surface air temperature fall outside the 90 range predicted by models using the CMIP5 forcings and scenarios; this recent period of muted warming is dubbed the hiatus. The hiatus has attracted broad attention in both the popular press and the scientific literature, primarily because of its perceived implications for understanding long-term trends. Many hypotheses have been offered to explain the warming slowdown during the hiatus, and comprehensive studies of this period across multiple variables and spatial scales will likely improve our understanding of the physical mechanisms driving global temperature change and variability.We argue, however, that decadal temperature trends by themselves are unlikely to constrain future trajectories of global mean temperature and that the hiatus does not significantly revise our understanding of overall climate sensitivity. Instead, we demonstrate that, because of the poorly constrained nature of the hiatus, model-observation disagreements over this period may be resolvable via uncertainties in the observations, modeled internal variability, forcing estimates, or (more likely) some combination of all three factors. We define the hiatus interval as 1998-2012, endpoints judiciously chosen to minimize observed warming by including the large 1998 El Nio event and excluding 2014, an exceptionally warm year. Such choices are fundamentally subjective and cannot be considered random, so any probabilistic statements regarding the likelihood of this occurring need to be made carefully. Using this definition, the observed global temperature trend estimates from four datasets fall outside the 5-95 interval predicted by the CMIP5 models. Here we explore some of the plausible explanations for this discrepancy, and show that no unique explanation is likely to fully account for the hiatus.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN26345 , US Clivar Variations; 13; 3; 25-29
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Over forty scientists from six countries convened in Raleigh, NC on June 4-6 2012 to review the status and prospects of sea spray aerosol research. Participants were researchers from the oceanography and atmospheric science communities, including academia, private industry, and government agencies. The recommendations from the working groups are summarized in a science prioritization matrix that is meant to prioritize the research agenda and identify areas of investigation by the magnitude of their impact on proposed science questions. Str
    Keywords: Oceanography
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN8472 , Atmospheric Science Letters; 14; 4; 207-213
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