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FY 2011 Second Quarter: Demonstration of New Aerosol Measurement Verification Testbed for Present-Day Global Aerosol Simulations

Description: The regional-scale Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is being used by a DOE Earth System Modeling (ESM) project titled “Improving the Characterization of Clouds, Aerosols and the Cryosphere in Climate Models” to evaluate the performance of atmospheric process modules that treat aerosols and aerosol radiative forcing in the Arctic. We are using a regional-scale modeling framework for three reasons: (1) It is easier to produce a useful comparison to observations with a high resolution model; (2) We can compare the behavior of the CAM parameterization suite with some of the more complex and computationally expensive parameterizations used in WRF; (3) we can explore the behavior of this parameterization suite at high resolution. Climate models like the Community Atmosphere Model version 5 (CAM5) being used within the Community Earth System Model (CESM) will not likely be run at mesoscale spatial resolutions (10–20 km) until 5–10 years from now. The performance of the current suite of physics modules in CAM5 at such resolutions is not known, and current computing resources do not permit high-resolution global simulations to be performed routinely. We are taking advantage of two tools recently developed under PNNL Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) projects for this activity. The first is the Aerosol Modeling Testbed (Fast et al., 2011b), a new computational framework designed to streamline the process of testing and evaluating aerosol process modules over a range of spatial and temporal scales. The second is the CAM5 suite of physics parameterizations that have been ported into WRF so that their performance and scale dependency can be quantified at mesoscale spatial resolutions (Gustafson et al., 2010; with more publications in preparation).
Date: March 20, 2011
Creator: Koch, D
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FY 2011 4th Quarter Metric: Estimate of Future Aerosol Direct and Indirect Effects

Description: The global and annual mean aerosol direct and indirect effects, relative to 1850 conditions, estimated from CESM simulations are 0.02 W m-2 and -0.39 W m-2, respectively, for emissions in year 2100 under the IPCC RCP8.5 scenario. The indirect effect is much smaller than that for 2000 emissions because of much smaller SO2 emissions in 2100; the direct effects are small due to compensation between warming by black carbon and cooling by sulfate.
Date: September 21, 2011
Creator: Koch, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analyzing signatures of aerosol-cloud interactions from satelliteretrievals and the GISS GCM to constrain the aerosol indirecteffect

Description: Evidence of aerosol-cloud interactions are evaluated using satellite data from MODIS, CERES, AMSR-E, reanalysis data from NCEP and data from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies climate model. We evaluate a series of model simulations: (1) Exp N- aerosol direct radiative effects; (2) Exp C- Like Exp N but with aerosol effects on liquid-phase cumulus and stratus clouds; (3) Exp CN- Like Exp C but with model wind fields nudged to reanalysis data. Comparison between satellite-retrieved data and model simulations for June to August 2002, over the Atlantic Ocean indicate the following: a negative correlation between aerosol optical thickness (AOT) and cloud droplet effective radius (R{sub eff}) for all cases and satellite data, except for Exp N; a weak but negative correlation between liquid water path (LWP) and AOT for MODIS and CERES; and a robust increase in cloud cover with AOT for both MODIS and CERES. In all simulations, there is a positive correlation between AOT and both cloud cover and LWP (except in the case of LWP-AOT for Exp CN). The largest slopes are obtained for Exp N, implying that meteorological variability may be an important factor. The main fields associated with AOT variability in NCEP/MODIS data are warmer temperatures and increased subsidence for less clean cases, not well captured by the model. Simulated cloud fields compared with an enhanced data product from MODIS and AMSR-E indicate that model cloud thickness is over-predicted and cloud droplet number is within retrieval uncertainties. Since LWP fields are comparable this implies an under-prediction of R{sub eff} and thus an over-prediction of the indirect effect.
Date: October 1, 2007
Creator: Menon, S.; Del Genio, A.D.; Kaufman, Y.; Bennartz, R.; Koch, D.; Loeb, N. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Impacts of aerosol-cloud interactions on past and future changes in tropospheric composition

Description: The development of effective emissions control policies that are beneficial to both climate and air quality requires a detailed understanding of all the feedbacks in the atmospheric composition and climate system. We perform sensitivity studies with a global atmospheric composition-climate model to assess the impact of aerosols on tropospheric chemistry through their modification on clouds, aerosol-cloud interactions (ACI). The model includes coupling between both tropospheric gas-phase and aerosol chemistry and aerosols and liquid-phase clouds. We investigate past impacts from preindustrial (PI) to present day (PD) and future impacts from PD to 2050 (for the moderate IPCC A1B scenario) that embrace a wide spectrum of precursor emission changes and consequential ACI. The aerosol indirect effect (AIE) is estimated to be -2.0 Wm{sup -2} for PD-PI and -0.6 Wm{sup -2} for 2050-PD, at the high end of current estimates. Inclusion of ACI substantially impacts changes in global mean methane lifetime across both time periods, enhancing the past and future increases by 10% and 30%, respectively. In regions where pollution emissions increase, inclusion of ACI leads to 20% enhancements in in-cloud sulfate production and {approx}10% enhancements in sulfate wet deposition that is displaced away from the immediate source regions. The enhanced in-cloud sulfate formation leads to larger increases in surface sulfate across polluted regions ({approx}10-30%). Nitric acid wet deposition is dampened by 15-20% across the industrialized regions due to ACI allowing additional re-release of reactive nitrogen that contributes to 1-2 ppbv increases in surface ozone in outflow regions. Our model findings indicate that ACI must be considered in studies of methane trends and projections of future changes to particulate matter air quality.
Date: February 2, 2009
Creator: Unger, N.; Menon, S.; Shindell, D. T. & Koch, D. M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aerosol organic carbon to black carbon ratios: Analysis ofpublished data and implications for climate forcing

Description: Measurements of organic carbon (OC) and black carbon (BC)concentrations over a variety of locations worldwide, have been analyzed to infer the spatial distributions of the ratios of OC to BC. Since these ratios determine the relative amounts of scattering and absorption, they are often used to estimate the radiative forcing due to aerosols. An artifact in the protocol for filter measurements of OC has led to widespread overestimates of the ratio of OC to BC in atmospheric aerosols. We developed a criterion to correct for this artifact and analyze corrected OC to BC ratios. The OC to BC ratios, ranging from 1.3to 2.4, appear relatively constant and are generally unaffected by seasonality, sources or technology changes, at the locations considered here. The ratios compare well with emission inventories over Europe and China but are a factor of two lower in other regions. The reduced estimate for OC/BC in aerosols strengthens the argument that reduction of soot emissions maybe a useful approach to slow global warming.
Date: July 11, 2005
Creator: Novakov, T.; Menon, S.; Kirchstetter, T.W.; Koch, D. & Hansen, J.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Short-lived pollutants in the Arctic: their climate impact and possible mitigation strategies

Description: Several short-lived pollutants known to impact Arctic climate may be contributing to the accelerated rates of warming observed in this region relative to the global annually averaged temperature increase. Here, we present a summary of the short-lived pollutants that impact Arctic climate including methane, tropospheric ozone, and tropospheric aerosols. For each pollutant, we provide a description of the major sources and the mechanism of forcing. We also provide the first seasonally averaged forcing and corresponding temperature response estimates focused specifically on the Arctic. The calculations indicate that the forcings due to black carbon, methane, and tropospheric ozone lead to a positive surface temperature response indicating the need to reduce emissions of these species within and outside the Arctic. Additional aerosol species may also lead to surface warming if the aerosol is coincident with thin, low lying clouds. We suggest strategies for reducing the warming based on current knowledge and discuss directions for future research to address the large remaining uncertainties.
Date: September 24, 2007
Creator: Menon, Surabi; Quinn, P.K.; Bates, T.S.; Baum, E.; Doubleday, N.; Fiore, A.M. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A multi-model assessment of pollution transport to the Arctic

Description: We examine the response of Arctic gas and aerosol concentrations to perturbations in pollutant emissions from Europe, East and South Asia, and North America using results from a coordinated model intercomparison. These sensitivities to regional emissions (mixing ratio change per unit emission) vary widely across models and species. Intermodel differences are systematic, however, so that the relative importance of different regions is robust. North America contributes the most to Arctic ozone pollution. For aerosols and CO, European emissions dominate at the Arctic surface but East Asian emissions become progressively more important with altitude, and are dominant in the upper troposphere. Sensitivities show strong seasonality: surface sensitivities typically maximize during boreal winter for European and during spring for East Asian and North American emissions. Mid-tropospheric sensitivities, however, nearly always maximize during spring or summer for all regions. Deposition of black carbon (BC) onto Greenland is most sensitive to North American emissions. North America and Europe each contribute {approx}40% of total BC deposition to Greenland, with {approx}20% from East Asia. Elsewhere in the Arctic, both sensitivity and total BC deposition are dominated by European emissions. Model diversity for aerosols is especially large, resulting primarily from differences in aerosol physical and chemical processing (including removal). Comparison of modeled aerosol concentrations with observations indicates problems in the models, and perhaps, interpretation of the measurements. For gas phase pollutants such as CO and O{sub 3}, which are relatively well-simulated, the processes contributing most to uncertainties depend on the source region and altitude examined. Uncertainties in the Arctic surface CO response to emissions perturbations are dominated by emissions for East Asian sources, while uncertainties in transport, emissions, and oxidation are comparable for European and North American sources. At higher levels, model-to-model variations in transport and oxidation are most important. Differences in photochemistry appear to play the ...
Date: March 13, 2008
Creator: Shindell, D T; Chin, M; Dentener, F; Doherty, R M; Faluvegi, G; Fiore, A M et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department