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Volume 18, issue 12
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 8601-8620, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-8601-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 8601-8620, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-8601-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 19 Jun 2018

Research article | 19 Jun 2018

A 3-D evaluation of the MACC reanalysis dust product over Europe, northern Africa and Middle East using CALIOP/CALIPSO dust satellite observations

Aristeidis K. Georgoulias1,2,3,a,b, Athanasios Tsikerdekis4, Vassilis Amiridis5, Eleni Marinou5,6,7, Angela Benedetti8, Prodromos Zanis4, Georgia Alexandri1, Lucia Mona9, Konstantinos A. Kourtidis1, and Jos Lelieveld2,3 Aristeidis K. Georgoulias et al.
  • 1Department of Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Xanthi, Greece
  • 2Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 3Energy, Environment and Water Research Center, The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • 4Department of Meteorology and Climatology, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 5Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Application and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens, Athens, Greece
  • 6Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Department of Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 7Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 8European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, UK
  • 9Istituto di Metodologie per l'Analisi Ambientale, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Potenza, Italy
  • acurrent address: Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Application and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens, Athens, Greece
  • bcurrent address: Department of Meteorology and Climatology, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

Abstract. The MACC reanalysis dust product is evaluated over Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East using the EARLINET-optimized CALIOP/CALIPSO pure dust satellite-based product LIVAS (2007–2012). MACC dust optical depth at 550nm (DOD550) data are compared against LIVAS DOD532 observations. As only natural aerosol (dust and sea salt) profiles are available in MACC, here we focus on layers above 1kma.s.l. to diminish the influence of sea salt particles that typically reside at low heights. So, MACC natural aerosol extinction coefficient profiles at 550nm are compared against dust extinction coefficient profiles at 532nm from LIVAS, assuming that the MACC natural aerosol profile data can be similar to the dust profile data, especially over pure continental regions. It is shown that the reanalysis data are capable of capturing the major dust hot spots in the area as the MACC DOD550 patterns are close to the LIVAS DOD532 patterns throughout the year. MACC overestimates DOD for regions with low dust loadings and underestimates DOD for regions with high dust loadings where DOD exceeds  ∼ 0.3. The mean bias between the MACC and LIVAS DOD is 0.025 ( ∼ 25%) over the whole domain. Both MACC and LIVAS capture the summer and spring high dust loadings, especially over northern Africa and the Middle East, and exhibit similar monthly structures despite the biases. In this study, dust extinction coefficient patterns are reported at four layers (layer 1: 1200–3000ma.s.l., layer 2: 3000–4800ma.s.l., layer 3: 4800–6600m a.s.l. and layer 4: 6600–8400ma.s.l.). The MACC and LIVAS extinction coefficient patterns are similar over areas characterized by high dust loadings for the first three layers. Within layer 4, MACC overestimates extinction coefficients consistently throughout the year over the whole domain. MACC overestimates extinction coefficients compared to LIVAS over regions away from the major dust sources while over regions close to the dust sources (the Sahara and Middle East) it underestimates strongly only for heights below  ∼ 3–5kma.s.l. depending on the period of the year. In general, it is shown that dust loadings appear over remote regions and at heights up to 9kma.s.l. in MACC contrary to LIVAS. This could be due to the model performance and parameterizations of emissions and other processes, due to the assimilation of satellite aerosol measurements over dark surfaces only or due to a possible enhancement of aerosols by the MACC assimilation system.

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In this work, the MACC reanalysis dust product is evaluated over Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East using the EARLINET-optimized CALIOP/CALIPSO pure dust satellite-based product LIVAS (2007–2012). As dust plays a determinant role in processes related to weather and climate, human healt, and the economy, it is obvious that adequately simulating the amount of dust and its optical properties is essential. Our results could be used as a reference in future climate model evaluations.
In this work, the MACC reanalysis dust product is evaluated over Europe, Northern Africa and the...
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