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Title: Evaluation of the aerosol vertical distribution in global aerosol models through comparison against CALIOP measurements: AeroCom phase II results

The ability of eleven models in simulating the aerosol vertical distribution from regional to global scales, as part of the second phase of the AeroCom model inter-comparison initiative (AeroCom II) is assessed and compared to results of the first phase. The evaluation is performed using a global monthly gridded dataset of aerosol extinction profiles built on purpose from the CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization) Layer Product 3.01. Results over 12 sub-continental regions show that five models improved whereas three degraded in reproducing the Zα 0-6 km mean extinction height diagnostic, which is computed over the 0-6 km altitude range for each studied region and season. While the models’ performance remains highly variable, it has generally improved in terms of inter-regional diversity and seasonality. The biases in Zα 0-6 km have notably decreased in the U.S. and European industrial and downwind maritime regions, whereas the timing of the Zα 0-6 km peak season has improved for all but two models. However, most of the models now show a Zα 0-6 km underestimation over land, notably in the dust and biomass burning regions in Asia and Africa. At global scale, the AeroCom II models better reproduce the Zα 0-6 km latitudinalmore » variability over ocean than over land. Hypotheses for the (changes in the) the performance of the individual models and for the inter-model diversity are discussed. We also provide an analysis of the CALIOP limitations and uncertainties that can contribute to the differences between the simulations and observations.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres), 121(12):7254-7283
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States