Evaluating model parameterizations of submicron aerosol scattering and...

Ridley, A., C. L. Heald, K. L. Thornhill, B. E. Anderson, M. J. Cubison, J. Jimenez-Palacios, Y. Kondo, L. K. Sahu, J. Dibb, and C. Wang (2016), Evaluating model parameterizations of submicron aerosol scattering and absorption with in situ data from ARCTAS 2008 Matthew J. Alvarado1 , Chantelle R. Lonsdale1 , Helen L. Macintyre2,a , Huisheng Bian3,4 , Mian Chin4 , David, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 9435-9455, doi:10.5194/acp-16-9435-2016.
Abstract: 

Accurate modeling of the scattering and absorption of ultraviolet and visible radiation by aerosols is essential for accurate simulations of atmospheric chemistry and climate. Closure studies using in situ measurements of aerosol scattering and absorption can be used to evaluate and improve models of aerosol optical properties without interference from model errors in aerosol emissions, transport, chemistry, or deposition rates. Here we evaluate the ability of four externally mixed, fixed size distribution parameterizations used in global models to simulate submicron aerosol scattering and absorption at three wavelengths using in situ data gathered during the 2008 Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS) campaign. The four models are the NASA Global Modeling Initiative (GMI) Combo model, GEOS-Chem v902, the baseline configuration of a version of GEOS-Chem with online radiative transfer calculations (called GC-RT), and the Optical Properties of Aerosol and Clouds (OPAC v3.1) package. We also use the ARCTAS data to perform the first evaluation of the ability of the Aerosol Simulation Program (ASP v2.1) to simulate submicron aerosol scattering and absorption when in situ data on the aerosol size distribution are used, and examine the impact of different mixing rules for black carbon (BC) on the results. We find that the GMI model tends to overestimate submicron scattering and absorption at shorter wavelengths by 10–23 %, and that GMI has smaller absolute mean biases for submicron absorption than OPAC v3.1, GEOS-Chem v9-02, or GC-RT. However, the changes to the density and refractive index of BC in GCRT improve the simulation of submicron aerosol absorption

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Research Program: 
Tropospheric Chemistry Program (TCP)
Mission: 
ARCTAS