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Uncertainty in Aerosol Optical Depth From Modern Aerosol‐Climate Models, Reanalyses, and Satellite Products

Annika Vogel, Ghazi Alessa, Robert Scheele, Lisa Weber, Oleg Dubovik, Peter North Orcid Logo, Stephanie Fiedler

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Volume: 127, Issue: 2

Swansea University Author: Peter North Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1029/2021jd035483

Abstract

Despite the implication of aerosols for the radiation budget, there are persistent differences in data for the aerosol optical depth (τ) for 1998–2019. This study presents a comprehensive evaluation of the large-scale spatio-temporal patterns of mid-visible τ from modern data sets. In total, we asse...

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Published in: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
ISSN: 2169-897X 2169-8996
Published: American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2022
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa59105
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spelling 2022-01-19T13:44:14.6462494 v2 59105 2022-01-06 Uncertainty in Aerosol Optical Depth From Modern Aerosol‐Climate Models, Reanalyses, and Satellite Products fc45a0cb36c24d6cf35313a8c808652f 0000-0001-9933-6935 Peter North Peter North true false 2022-01-06 SGE Despite the implication of aerosols for the radiation budget, there are persistent differences in data for the aerosol optical depth (τ) for 1998–2019. This study presents a comprehensive evaluation of the large-scale spatio-temporal patterns of mid-visible τ from modern data sets. In total, we assessed 94 different global data sets from eight satellite retrievals, four aerosol-climate model ensembles, one operational ensemble product, two reanalyses, one climatology and one merged satellite product. We include the new satellite data SLSTR and aerosol-climate simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) and the Aerosol Comparisons between Observations and Models phase 3 (AeroCom-III). Our intercomparison highlights model differences and observational uncertainty. Spatial mean τ for 60◦ N – 60◦ S ranges from 0.124 to 0.164 for individual satellites, with a mean of 0.14. Averaged τ from aerosol-climate model ensembles fall within this satellite range, but individual models do not. Our assessment suggests no systematic improvement compared to CMIP5 and AeroCom-I. Although some regional biases have been reduced, τ from both CMIP6 and AeroCom-III are for instance substantially larger along extra-tropical storm tracks compared to the satellite products. The considerable uncertainty in observed τ implies that a model evaluation based on a single satellite product might draw biased conclusions. This underlines the need for continued efforts to improve both model and satellite estimates of τ, e.g., through measurement campaigns in areas of particularly uncertain satellite estimates identified in this study, to facilitate a better understanding of aerosol effects in the Earth system. Journal Article Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 127 2 American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2169-897X 2169-8996 aerosol optical depth; intercomparison; CMIP and AeroCom; reanalyses; satellite products; spatio-temporal climatology 27 1 2022 2022-01-27 10.1029/2021jd035483 COLLEGE NANME Geography COLLEGE CODE SGE Swansea University Hans-Ertel-Center for Weather Research. Grant Number: BMVI/DWD 4818DWDP5A; Collaborative Research Centre 1211. Grant Number: DFG 268236062 2022-01-19T13:44:14.6462494 2022-01-06T16:29:00.0879827 College of Science Geography Annika Vogel 1 Ghazi Alessa 2 Robert Scheele 3 Lisa Weber 4 Oleg Dubovik 5 Peter North 0000-0001-9933-6935 6 Stephanie Fiedler 7 59105__22185__558f5d75ba474bc484809e87f9eb8821.pdf 59105.pdf 2022-01-19T13:36:18.6250464 Output 3485032 application/pdf Version of Record true © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License true eng http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
title Uncertainty in Aerosol Optical Depth From Modern Aerosol‐Climate Models, Reanalyses, and Satellite Products
spellingShingle Uncertainty in Aerosol Optical Depth From Modern Aerosol‐Climate Models, Reanalyses, and Satellite Products
Peter North
title_short Uncertainty in Aerosol Optical Depth From Modern Aerosol‐Climate Models, Reanalyses, and Satellite Products
title_full Uncertainty in Aerosol Optical Depth From Modern Aerosol‐Climate Models, Reanalyses, and Satellite Products
title_fullStr Uncertainty in Aerosol Optical Depth From Modern Aerosol‐Climate Models, Reanalyses, and Satellite Products
title_full_unstemmed Uncertainty in Aerosol Optical Depth From Modern Aerosol‐Climate Models, Reanalyses, and Satellite Products
title_sort Uncertainty in Aerosol Optical Depth From Modern Aerosol‐Climate Models, Reanalyses, and Satellite Products
author_id_str_mv fc45a0cb36c24d6cf35313a8c808652f
author_id_fullname_str_mv fc45a0cb36c24d6cf35313a8c808652f_***_Peter North
author Peter North
author2 Annika Vogel
Ghazi Alessa
Robert Scheele
Lisa Weber
Oleg Dubovik
Peter North
Stephanie Fiedler
format Journal article
container_title Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
container_volume 127
container_issue 2
publishDate 2022
institution Swansea University
issn 2169-897X
2169-8996
doi_str_mv 10.1029/2021jd035483
publisher American Geophysical Union (AGU)
college_str College of Science
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hierarchy_top_title College of Science
hierarchy_parent_id collegeofscience
hierarchy_parent_title College of Science
department_str Geography{{{_:::_}}}College of Science{{{_:::_}}}Geography
document_store_str 1
active_str 0
description Despite the implication of aerosols for the radiation budget, there are persistent differences in data for the aerosol optical depth (τ) for 1998–2019. This study presents a comprehensive evaluation of the large-scale spatio-temporal patterns of mid-visible τ from modern data sets. In total, we assessed 94 different global data sets from eight satellite retrievals, four aerosol-climate model ensembles, one operational ensemble product, two reanalyses, one climatology and one merged satellite product. We include the new satellite data SLSTR and aerosol-climate simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) and the Aerosol Comparisons between Observations and Models phase 3 (AeroCom-III). Our intercomparison highlights model differences and observational uncertainty. Spatial mean τ for 60◦ N – 60◦ S ranges from 0.124 to 0.164 for individual satellites, with a mean of 0.14. Averaged τ from aerosol-climate model ensembles fall within this satellite range, but individual models do not. Our assessment suggests no systematic improvement compared to CMIP5 and AeroCom-I. Although some regional biases have been reduced, τ from both CMIP6 and AeroCom-III are for instance substantially larger along extra-tropical storm tracks compared to the satellite products. The considerable uncertainty in observed τ implies that a model evaluation based on a single satellite product might draw biased conclusions. This underlines the need for continued efforts to improve both model and satellite estimates of τ, e.g., through measurement campaigns in areas of particularly uncertain satellite estimates identified in this study, to facilitate a better understanding of aerosol effects in the Earth system.
published_date 2022-01-27T04:16:09Z
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