Atmos. Chem. Phys., 6, 1815-1834, 2006
www.atmos-chem-phys.net/6/1815/2006/
doi:10.5194/acp-6-1815-2006
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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
An AeroCom initial assessment – optical properties in aerosol component modules of global models
S. Kinne1, M. Schulz2, C. Textor2, S. Guibert2, Y. Balkanski2, S. E. Bauer3, T. Berntsen4, T. F. Berglen4, O. Boucher5,6, M. Chin7, W. Collins8, F. Dentener9, T. Diehl10, R. Easter11, J. Feichter1, D. Fillmore8, S. Ghan11, P. Ginoux12, S. Gong13, A. Grini4, J. Hendricks14, M. Herzog12, L. Horowitz12, I. Isaksen4, T. Iversen4, A. Kirkevåg4, S. Kloster1, D. Koch3, J. E. Kristjansson4, M. Krol16, A. Lauer14, J. F. Lamarque8, G. Lesins17, X. Liu15, U. Lohmann18, V. Montanaro19, G. Myhre4, J. Penner15, G. Pitari19, S. Reddy12, O. Seland4, P. Stier1, T. Takemura20, and X. Tie8
1Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Hamburg, Germany
2Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’environnement, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
3The Earth Institute at Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
4University of Oslo, Department of Geosciences, Oslo, Norway
5Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosph’erique, USTL/CNRS, Villeneuve d’Ascq, France
6Hadley Centre, Met Office, Exeter, UK
7NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
8NCAR, Boulder, Colorado, USA
9EC, Joint Research Centre, IES, Climate Change Unit, Ispra, Italy
10Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center, UMBC, Baltimore, MD, USA
11Batelle, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, USA
12NOAA, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ, USA
13ARQM Meteorological Service Canada, Toronto, Canada
14DLR, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
15University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
16Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU) Utrecht, The Netherlands
17Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
18ETH Zürich, Switzerland
19Universita degli Studi L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy
20Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan

Abstract. The AeroCom exercise diagnoses multi-component aerosol modules in global modeling. In an initial assessment simulated global distributions for mass and mid-visible aerosol optical thickness (aot) were compared among 20 different modules. Model diversity was also explored in the context of previous comparisons. For the component combined aot general agreement has improved for the annual global mean. At 0.11 to 0.14, simulated aot values are at the lower end of global averages suggested by remote sensing from ground (AERONET ca. 0.135) and space (satellite composite ca. 0.15). More detailed comparisons, however, reveal that larger differences in regional distribution and significant differences in compositional mixture remain. Of particular concern are large model diversities for contributions by dust and carbonaceous aerosol, because they lead to significant uncertainty in aerosol absorption (aab). Since aot and aab, both, influence the aerosol impact on the radiative energy-balance, the aerosol (direct) forcing uncertainty in modeling is larger than differences in aot might suggest. New diagnostic approaches are proposed to trace model differences in terms of aerosol processing and transport: These include the prescription of common input (e.g. amount, size and injection of aerosol component emissions) and the use of observational capabilities from ground (e.g. measurements networks) or space (e.g. correlations between aerosol and clouds).

Citation: Kinne, S., Schulz, M., Textor, C., Guibert, S., Balkanski, Y., Bauer, S. E., Berntsen, T., Berglen, T. F., Boucher, O., Chin, M., Collins, W., Dentener, F., Diehl, T., Easter, R., Feichter, J., Fillmore, D., Ghan, S., Ginoux, P., Gong, S., Grini, A., Hendricks, J., Herzog, M., Horowitz, L., Isaksen, I., Iversen, T., Kirkevåg, A., Kloster, S., Koch, D., Kristjansson, J. E., Krol, M., Lauer, A., Lamarque, J. F., Lesins, G., Liu, X., Lohmann, U., Montanaro, V., Myhre, G., Penner, J., Pitari, G., Reddy, S., Seland, O., Stier, P., Takemura, T., and Tie, X.: An AeroCom initial assessment – optical properties in aerosol component modules of global models, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 6, 1815-1834, doi:10.5194/acp-6-1815-2006, 2006.
 
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