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Modeling Activities in the Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Sciences Program

Description: The Department of Energy's Atmospheric Science Program (ASP) conducts research pertinent to radiative forcing of climate change by atmospheric aerosols. The program consists of approximately 40 highly interactive peer-reviewed research projects that examine aerosol properties and processes and the evolution of aerosols in the atmosphere. Principal components of the program are instrument development, laboratory experiments, field studies, theoretical investigations, and modeling. The objectives of the Program are to 1) improve the understanding of aerosol processes associated with light scattering and absorption properties and interactions with clouds that affect Earth's radiative balance and to 2) develop model-based representations of these processes that enable the effects of aerosols on Earth's climate system to be properly represented in global-scale numerical climate models. Although only a few of the research projects within ASP are explicitly identified as primarily modeling activities, modeling actually comprises a substantial component of a large fraction of ASP research projects. This document describes the modeling activities within the Program as a whole, the objectives and intended outcomes of these activities, and the linkages among the several modeling components and with global-scale modeling activities conducted under the support of the Department of Energy's Climate Sciences Program and other aerosol and climate research programs.
Date: March 1, 2009
Creator: Fast, Jerome D.; Ghan, Steven J. & Schwartz, Stephen E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Applications of Lagrangian Dispersion Modeling to the Analysis of Changes in the Specific Absorption of Elemental Carbon

Description: We use a Lagrangian dispersion model driven by a mesoscale model with four-dimensional data assimilation to simulate the dispersion of elemental carbon (EC) over a region encompassing Mexico City and its surroundings, the study domain for the 2006 MAX-MEX experiment, which was a component of the MILAGRO campaign. The results are used to identify periods when biomass burning was likely to have had a significant impact on the concentrations of elemental carbon at two sites, T1 and T2, downwind of the city, and when emissions from the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) were likely to have been more important. They are also used to estimate the median ages of EC affecting the specific absorption of light, aABS, at 870 nm as well as to identify periods when the urban plume from the MCMA was likely to have been advected over T1 and T2. Values of aABS at T1, the nearer of the two sites to Mexico City, were smaller at night and increased rapidly after mid-morning, peaking in the mid-afternoon. The behavior is attributed to the coating of aerosols with substances such as sulfate or organic carbon during daylight hours, but such coating appears to be limited or absent at night. Evidence for this is provided by scanning electron microscope images of aerosols collected at three sampling sites. During daylight hours the values of aABS did not increase with aerosol age for median ages in the range of 1-4 hours. There is some evidence for absorption increasing as aerosols were advected from T1 to T2 but the statistical significance of that result is not strong.
Date: March 7, 2008
Creator: Doran, J. C.; Fast, Jerome D.; Barnard, James C.; Laskin, Alexander; Desyaterik, Yury; Gilles, Marry K. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of NEXRAD Wind Retrievals as Input to Atmospheric Dispersion Models

Description: The objective of this study is to determine the feasibility that routinely collected data from the Doppler radars can appropriately be used in Atmospheric Dispersion Models (ADMs) for emergency response. We have evaluated the computational efficiency and accuracy of two variational mathematical techniques that derive the u- and v-components of the wind from radial velocities obtained from Doppler radars. A review of the scientific literature indicated that the techniques employ significantly different approaches in applying the variational techniques: 2-D Variational (2DVar), developed by NOAA¹s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's) National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) and Variational Doppler Radar Analysis System (VDRAS), developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). We designed a series of numerical experiments in which both models employed the same horizontal domain and resolution encompassing Oklahoma City for a two-week period during the summer of 2003 so that the computed wind retrievals could be fairly compared. Both models ran faster than real-time on a typical single dual-processor computer, indicating that they could be used to generate wind retrievals in near real-time. 2DVar executed ~2.5 times faster than VDRAS because of its simpler approach.
Date: March 6, 2007
Creator: Fast, Jerome D.; Newsom, Rob K.; Allwine, K Jerry; Xu, Qin; Zhang, Pengfei; Copeland, Jeffrey H. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department