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

Title: The MERRA-2 Aerosol Reanalysis, 1980 Onward. Part I: System Description and Data Assimilation Evaluation

Abstract

The Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA-2) updates NASA’s previous satellite era (1980 – onward) reanalysis system to include additional observations and improvements to the Goddard Earth Observing System, Version 5 (GEOS-5) Earth system model. As a major step towards a full Integrated Earth Systems Analysis (IESA), in addition to meteorological observations, MERRA-2 now includes assimila-tion of aerosol optical depth (AOD) from various ground- and space-based remote sensing platforms. Here, in the first of a pair of studies, we document the MERRA-2 aerosol assimilation, including a description of the prognostic model (GEOS-5 coupled to the GOCART aerosol module), aerosol emissions, and the quality control of ingested observations. We provide initial validation and evaluation of the analyzed AOD fields using independent observations rom ground, aircraft, and shipborne instruments. We demonstrate the pos-itive impact of the AOD assimilation on simulated aerosols by comparing MERRA-2 aerosol fields to an identical control simulation that does not in-clude AOD assimilation. Having shown the AOD evaluation, we take a first look at aerosol-climate interactions by examining the shortwave, clear-sky aerosol direct radiative effect. In our companion paper, we evaluate and validate available MERRA-2 aerosol properties not directly impacted by the AOD assimilationmore » (e.g. aerosol vertical distribution and absorption). Importantly, while highlighting the skill of the MERRA-2 aerosol assimilation products, both studies point out caveats that must be considered when using this new reanalysis product for future studies of aerosols and their interactions with weather and climate.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [7];  [8];  [9]
  1. Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  2. Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland; Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research/Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, Maryland
  3. Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Lab, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  4. Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland; Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Lanham, Maryland
  5. Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Lanham, Maryland; NASA Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, Greenbelt, Maryland
  6. NASA Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, Greenbelt, Maryland
  7. NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia
  8. Bay Area Environmental Research Institute, Petaluma, California; NASA Ames Research Center Cooperative for Research in Earth Science and Technology, Moffett Field, California
  9. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1373844
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-125181
Journal ID: ISSN 0894-8755; 453040196
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Climate; Journal Volume: 30; Journal Issue: 17
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Randles, C. A., da Silva, A. M., Buchard, V., Colarco, P. R., Darmenov, A., Govindaraju, R., Smirnov, A., Holben, B., Ferrare, R., Hair, J., Shinozuka, Y., and Flynn, C. J. The MERRA-2 Aerosol Reanalysis, 1980 Onward. Part I: System Description and Data Assimilation Evaluation. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0609.1.
Randles, C. A., da Silva, A. M., Buchard, V., Colarco, P. R., Darmenov, A., Govindaraju, R., Smirnov, A., Holben, B., Ferrare, R., Hair, J., Shinozuka, Y., & Flynn, C. J. The MERRA-2 Aerosol Reanalysis, 1980 Onward. Part I: System Description and Data Assimilation Evaluation. United States. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0609.1.
Randles, C. A., da Silva, A. M., Buchard, V., Colarco, P. R., Darmenov, A., Govindaraju, R., Smirnov, A., Holben, B., Ferrare, R., Hair, J., Shinozuka, Y., and Flynn, C. J. Fri . "The MERRA-2 Aerosol Reanalysis, 1980 Onward. Part I: System Description and Data Assimilation Evaluation". United States. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0609.1.
@article{osti_1373844,
title = {The MERRA-2 Aerosol Reanalysis, 1980 Onward. Part I: System Description and Data Assimilation Evaluation},
author = {Randles, C. A. and da Silva, A. M. and Buchard, V. and Colarco, P. R. and Darmenov, A. and Govindaraju, R. and Smirnov, A. and Holben, B. and Ferrare, R. and Hair, J. and Shinozuka, Y. and Flynn, C. J.},
abstractNote = {The Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA-2) updates NASA’s previous satellite era (1980 – onward) reanalysis system to include additional observations and improvements to the Goddard Earth Observing System, Version 5 (GEOS-5) Earth system model. As a major step towards a full Integrated Earth Systems Analysis (IESA), in addition to meteorological observations, MERRA-2 now includes assimila-tion of aerosol optical depth (AOD) from various ground- and space-based remote sensing platforms. Here, in the first of a pair of studies, we document the MERRA-2 aerosol assimilation, including a description of the prognostic model (GEOS-5 coupled to the GOCART aerosol module), aerosol emissions, and the quality control of ingested observations. We provide initial validation and evaluation of the analyzed AOD fields using independent observations rom ground, aircraft, and shipborne instruments. We demonstrate the pos-itive impact of the AOD assimilation on simulated aerosols by comparing MERRA-2 aerosol fields to an identical control simulation that does not in-clude AOD assimilation. Having shown the AOD evaluation, we take a first look at aerosol-climate interactions by examining the shortwave, clear-sky aerosol direct radiative effect. In our companion paper, we evaluate and validate available MERRA-2 aerosol properties not directly impacted by the AOD assimilation (e.g. aerosol vertical distribution and absorption). Importantly, while highlighting the skill of the MERRA-2 aerosol assimilation products, both studies point out caveats that must be considered when using this new reanalysis product for future studies of aerosols and their interactions with weather and climate.},
doi = {10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0609.1},
journal = {Journal of Climate},
number = 17,
volume = 30,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Fri Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}