skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: ARM-Led Improvements Aerosols in Climate and Climate Models

Abstract

The DOE ARM program has played a foundational role in efforts to quantify aerosol effects on climate, beginning with the early back-of-the-envelope estimates of direct radiative forcing by anthropogenic sulfate and biomass burning aerosol (Penner et al., 1994). In this chapter we review the role that ARM has played in subsequent detailed estimates based on physically-based representations of aerosols in climate models. The focus is on quantifying the direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic aerosol on the planetary energy balance. Only recently have other DOE programs applied the aerosol modeling capability to simulate the climate response to the radiative forcing.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1358523
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-96813
KP1701000
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Book
Resource Relation:
Related Information: The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program: The First 20 Years: Meteorological Monographs, 57:27.1 - 27.12
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
atmospheric; radiation; measurement; ARM; aerosol; climate; radiative; forcing

Citation Formats

Ghan, Steven J., and Penner, Joyce E.. ARM-Led Improvements Aerosols in Climate and Climate Models. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1175/AMSMONOGRAPHS-D-15-0033.1.
Ghan, Steven J., & Penner, Joyce E.. ARM-Led Improvements Aerosols in Climate and Climate Models. United States. doi:10.1175/AMSMONOGRAPHS-D-15-0033.1.
Ghan, Steven J., and Penner, Joyce E.. 2016. "ARM-Led Improvements Aerosols in Climate and Climate Models". United States. doi:10.1175/AMSMONOGRAPHS-D-15-0033.1.
@article{osti_1358523,
title = {ARM-Led Improvements Aerosols in Climate and Climate Models},
author = {Ghan, Steven J. and Penner, Joyce E.},
abstractNote = {The DOE ARM program has played a foundational role in efforts to quantify aerosol effects on climate, beginning with the early back-of-the-envelope estimates of direct radiative forcing by anthropogenic sulfate and biomass burning aerosol (Penner et al., 1994). In this chapter we review the role that ARM has played in subsequent detailed estimates based on physically-based representations of aerosols in climate models. The focus is on quantifying the direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic aerosol on the planetary energy balance. Only recently have other DOE programs applied the aerosol modeling capability to simulate the climate response to the radiative forcing.},
doi = {10.1175/AMSMONOGRAPHS-D-15-0033.1},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 7
}

Book:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this book.

Save / Share:
  • Any attempt to reconcile observed surface temperature changes within the last 150 years to changes simulated by climate models that include various atmospheric forcings is sensitive to the changes attributed to aerosols and aerosol-cloud-climate interactions, which are the main contributors that may well balance the positive forcings associated with greenhouse gases, absorbing aerosols, ozone related changes, etc. These aerosol effects on climate, from various modeling studies discussed in Menon (2004), range from +0.8 to -2.4 W m{sup -2}, with an implied value of -1.0 W m{sup -2} (range from -0.5 to -4.5 W m{sup -2}) for the aerosol indirect effects.more » Quantifying the contribution of aerosols and aerosol-cloud interactions remain complicated for several reasons some of which are related to aerosol distributions and some to the processes used to represent their effects on clouds. Aerosol effects on low lying marine stratocumulus clouds that cover much of the Earth's surface (about 70%) have been the focus of most of prior aerosol-cloud interaction effect simulations. Since cumulus clouds (shallow and deep convective) are short lived and cover about 15 to 20% of the Earth's surface, they are not usually considered as radiatively important. However, the large amount of latent heat released from convective towers, and corresponding changes in precipitation, especially in biomass regions due to convective heating effects (Graf et al. 2004), suggest that these cloud systems and aerosol effects on them, must be examined more closely. The radiative heating effects for mature deep convective systems can account for 10-30% of maximum latent heating effects and thus cannot be ignored (Jensen and Del Genio 2003). The first study that isolated the sensitivity of cumulus clouds to aerosols was from Nober et al. (2003) who found a reduction in precipitation in biomass burning regions and shifts in circulation patterns. Aerosol effects on convection have been included in other models as well (cf. Jacobson, 2002) but the relative impacts on convective and stratiform processes were not separated. Other changes to atmospheric stability and thermodynamical quantities due to aerosol absorption are also known to be important in modifying cloud macro/micro properties. Linkages between convection and boreal biomass burning can also impact the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, radiation and cloud microphysical properties via transport of tropospheric aerosols to the lower stratosphere during extreme convection (Fromm and Servranckx 2003). Relevant questions regarding the impact of biomass aerosols on convective cloud properties include the effects of vertical transport of aerosols, spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall, vertical shift in latent heat release, phase shift of precipitation, circulation and their impacts on radiation. Over land surfaces, a decrease in surface shortwave radiation ({approx} 3-6 W m{sup -2} per decade) has been observed between 1960 to 1990, whereas, increases of 0.4 K in land temperature during the same period that occurred have resulted in speculations that evaporation and precipitation should also have decreased (Wild et al. 2004). However, precipitation records for the same period over land do not indicate any significant trend (Beck et al. 2005). The changes in precipitation are thought to be related to increased moisture advection from the oceans (Wild et al. 2004), which may well have some contributions from aerosol-radiation-convection coupling that could modify circulation patterns and hence moisture advection in specific regions. Other important aspects of aerosol effects, besides the direct, semi-direct, microphysical and thermodynamical impacts include alteration of surface albedos, especially snow and ice covered surfaces, due to absorbing aerosols. These effects are uncertain (Jacobson, 2004) but may produce as much as 0.3 W m{sup -2} forcing in the Northern hemisphere that could contribute to melting of ice and permafrost and change in the length of the season (e.g. early arrival of Spring) (Hansen and Nazarenko, 2004). Besides the impacts of aerosols on the surface albedos in the polar regions, and the thermodynamical impacts of Arctic haze (composed of water soluble sulfates, nitrates, organic and black carbon (BC)), the dynamical response to Arctic haze (through the radiation-circulation feedbacks that cause changes in pressure patterns) is thought to have the potential to modify the mode and strength of large-scale teleconnection patterns such as the Barrents Sea Oscillation that could affect other climate regimes (mainly Europe) (Rinke et al. 2004). Additionally, via the Asian monsoon, wind patterns over the eastern Mediterranean and lower stratospheric pollution at higher latitudes (Lelieveld et al. 2002) are thought to be linked to the pollutants found in Asia, indicating the distant climate impacts of aerosols.« less
  • Although the global average surface temperature has increased by about 0.6°C during the last century (IPCC, 2001), some regions such as East Asia, Eastern North America, and Western Europe have cooled rather than warmed during the past decades (Jones, 1988; Qian and Giorgi, 2000). Coherent changes at the regional scale may reflect responses to different climate forcings that need to be understood in order to predict the future net climate response at the global and regional scales under different emission scenarios. Atmospheric aerosols play an important role in global climate change (IPCC 2001). They perturb the earth’s radiative budget directlymore » by scattering and absorbing solar and long wave radiation, and indirectly by changing cloud reflectivity, lifetime, and precipitation efficiency via their role as cloud condensation nuclei. Because aerosols have much shorter lifetime (days to weeks) compared to most greenhouse gases, they tend to concentrate near their emission sources and distribute very unevenly both in time and space. This non-uniform distribution of aerosols, in conjunction with the greenhouse effect, may lead to differential net heating in some areas and net cooling in others (Penner et al. 1994). Sulfate aerosols come mainly from the oxidation of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emitted from fossil fuel burning. Black carbon aerosols are directly emitted during incomplete combustion of biomass, coal, and diesel derived sources. Due to the different optical properties, sulfate and black carbon affect climate in different ways. Because of the massive emissions of sulfur and black carbon that accompany the rapid economic expansions in East Asia, understanding the effects of aerosols on climate is particularly important scientifically and politically in order to develop adaptation and mitigation strategies.« less
  • We provide an overview of geoengineering by stratospheric sulphate aerosols. The state of understanding about this topic as of early 2008 is reviewed, summarizing the past 30 years of work in the area, highlighting some very recent studies using climate models, and discussing methods used to deliver sulphur species to the stratosphere. The studies reviewed here suggest that sulphate aerosols can counteract the globally averaged temperature increase associated with increasing greenhouse gases, and reduce changes to some other components of the Earth system. There are likely to be remaining regional climate changes after geoengineering, with some regions experiencing significant changesmore » in temperature or precipitation. The aerosols also serve as surfaces for heterogeneous chemistry resulting in increased ozone depletion. The delivery of sulphur species to the stratosphere in a way that will produce particles of the right size is shown to be a complex and potentially very difficult task. Two simple delivery scenarios are explored, but similar exercises will be needed for other suggested delivery mechanisms. While the introduction of the geoengineering source of sulphate aerosol will perturb the sulphur cycle of the stratosphere signicantly, it is a small perturbation to the total (stratosphere and troposphere) sulphur cycle. The geoengineering source would thus be a small contributor to the total global source of ‘acid rain’ that could be compensated for through improved pollution control of anthropogenic tropospheric sources. Some areas of research remain unexplored. Although ozone may be depleted, with a consequent increase to solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) energy reaching the surface and a potential impact on health and biological populations, the aerosols will also scatter and attenuate this part of the energy spectrum, and this may compensate the UVB enhancement associated with ozone depletion. The aerosol will also change the ratio of diffuse to direct energy reaching the surface, and this may influence ecosystems. The impact of geoengineering on these components of the Earth system has not yet been studied. Representations for the formation, evolution and removal of aerosol and distribution of particle size are still very crude, and more work will be needed to gain confidence in our understanding of the deliberate production of this class of aerosols and their role in the climate system.« less
  • Aerosols generated during the molten core-concrete interaction (MCCI) influence the reactor cavity thermal hydraulics: the cloud of aerosols, located inside the reactor cavity, restrains the upward-directed heat exchange consequently the cool-down of the high-temperature molten corium for a considerable period of time. IPSN is developing a computer code system for source predictions in severe accident scenarios. This code system is named ESCADRE. WECHSL/CALTHER is internal module dealing with MCCI (it is also a stand-alone code): it models the heat transfers involving the superior volume of the cavity. When modelling the upward-directed power distribution by WECHSL/CALTHER, a faster concrete basemat penetrationmore » takes place due to the low heat losses of the closed MCCI cavity enclosure. The model, here presented, is going to be validated with data from the AEROSTAT experiment. This experiment, planned at CEA Cadarache, will evaluate the influence of aerosols on the global power distribution in the reactor cavity. Radiative heat losses are important especially for cavity configurations such as those of new plant designs (equipped with a core-catcher) where the upward power losses are promoted by the corium spreading in a flat cavity.« less
  • Two of the most challenging problems facing climatologists and hydrologists today are: (1) to adequately describe land-surface processes, primarily evapotranspiration and surface and subsurface runoff, over heterogeneous terrain, and (2) to couple these relatively small-scale processes to the coarse-grid domain of most global climate models (GCMs). In this volume, consisting of 13 papers reprinted from Surveys in Geophysics (Vol. 12, Nos. 1-3, 1991), some of the attempts that have been made, or are being made to solve these problems, are discussed. The book is somewhat artificially broken up into two parts, the first consisting of six papers and the secondmore » of seven. the first part deals with observations and observational needs and the second part with modeling and analysis. Actually, all except the first three papers fall into latter category. This collection of articles should be required reading for anyone interested in modeling land-surface processes and relating them to the large-scale atmospheric circulation.« less