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Title: Biomass burning aerosol transport and vertical distribution over the South African-Atlantic region: Aerosol Transport Over SE Atlantic

Abstract

Aerosols from wild-land fires could significantly perturb the global radiation balance and induce the climate change. In this study, the Community Atmospheric Model version 5 (CAM5) with prescribed daily fire aerosol emissions is used to investigate the spatial and seasonal characteristics of radiative forcings of wildfire aerosols including black carbon (BC) and particulate organic matter (POM). The global annual mean direct radiative forcing (DRF) of all fire aerosols is 0.15 W m-2, mainly due to the absorption of fire BC (0.25 W m-2), while fire POM induces a weak negative forcing (-0.05 W m-2). Strong positive DRF is found in the Arctic and in the oceanic regions west of South Africa and South America as a result of amplified absorption of fire BC above low-level clouds, in general agreement with satellite observations. The global annual mean cloud radiative forcing due to all fire aerosols is -0.70 W m-2, resulting mainly from the fire POM indirect forcing (-0.59 W m-2). The large cloud liquid water path over land areas of the Arctic favors the strong fire aerosol indirect forcing (up to -15 W m-2) during the Arctic summer. Significant surface cooling, precipitation reduction and low-level cloud amount increase are also foundmore » in the Arctic summer as a result of the fire aerosol indirect effect. The global annual mean surface albedo forcing over land areas (0.03 W m-2) is mainly due to the fire BC-on-snow forcing (0.02 W m-2) with the maximum albedo forcing occurring in spring (0.12 W m-2) when snow starts to melt.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [5]; ORCiD logo [6]; ORCiD logo [7]; ORCiD logo [7]; ORCiD logo [8]
  1. Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette Indiana USA
  2. Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, UMBC, Baltimore Maryland USA; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt Maryland USA
  3. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt Maryland USA
  4. Department of Physical and Chemical Sciences, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila Italy; Center of Excellence in Telesensing of Environment and Model Prediction of Severe events, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila Italy
  5. Department of Physics, University of Athens, Athens Greece
  6. Finnish Meteorological Institute, Kuopio Finland
  7. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland Washington USA
  8. Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie Wyoming USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1406681
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-123121
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X; KP1703020
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres; Journal Volume: 122; Journal Issue: 12
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Das, Sampa, Harshvardhan, H., Bian, Huisheng, Chin, Mian, Curci, Gabriele, Protonotariou, Anna P., Mielonen, Tero, Zhang, Kai, Wang, Hailong, and Liu, Xiaohong. Biomass burning aerosol transport and vertical distribution over the South African-Atlantic region: Aerosol Transport Over SE Atlantic. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1002/2016JD026421.
Das, Sampa, Harshvardhan, H., Bian, Huisheng, Chin, Mian, Curci, Gabriele, Protonotariou, Anna P., Mielonen, Tero, Zhang, Kai, Wang, Hailong, & Liu, Xiaohong. Biomass burning aerosol transport and vertical distribution over the South African-Atlantic region: Aerosol Transport Over SE Atlantic. United States. doi:10.1002/2016JD026421.
Das, Sampa, Harshvardhan, H., Bian, Huisheng, Chin, Mian, Curci, Gabriele, Protonotariou, Anna P., Mielonen, Tero, Zhang, Kai, Wang, Hailong, and Liu, Xiaohong. 2017. "Biomass burning aerosol transport and vertical distribution over the South African-Atlantic region: Aerosol Transport Over SE Atlantic". United States. doi:10.1002/2016JD026421.
@article{osti_1406681,
title = {Biomass burning aerosol transport and vertical distribution over the South African-Atlantic region: Aerosol Transport Over SE Atlantic},
author = {Das, Sampa and Harshvardhan, H. and Bian, Huisheng and Chin, Mian and Curci, Gabriele and Protonotariou, Anna P. and Mielonen, Tero and Zhang, Kai and Wang, Hailong and Liu, Xiaohong},
abstractNote = {Aerosols from wild-land fires could significantly perturb the global radiation balance and induce the climate change. In this study, the Community Atmospheric Model version 5 (CAM5) with prescribed daily fire aerosol emissions is used to investigate the spatial and seasonal characteristics of radiative forcings of wildfire aerosols including black carbon (BC) and particulate organic matter (POM). The global annual mean direct radiative forcing (DRF) of all fire aerosols is 0.15 W m-2, mainly due to the absorption of fire BC (0.25 W m-2), while fire POM induces a weak negative forcing (-0.05 W m-2). Strong positive DRF is found in the Arctic and in the oceanic regions west of South Africa and South America as a result of amplified absorption of fire BC above low-level clouds, in general agreement with satellite observations. The global annual mean cloud radiative forcing due to all fire aerosols is -0.70 W m-2, resulting mainly from the fire POM indirect forcing (-0.59 W m-2). The large cloud liquid water path over land areas of the Arctic favors the strong fire aerosol indirect forcing (up to -15 W m-2) during the Arctic summer. Significant surface cooling, precipitation reduction and low-level cloud amount increase are also found in the Arctic summer as a result of the fire aerosol indirect effect. The global annual mean surface albedo forcing over land areas (0.03 W m-2) is mainly due to the fire BC-on-snow forcing (0.02 W m-2) with the maximum albedo forcing occurring in spring (0.12 W m-2) when snow starts to melt.},
doi = {10.1002/2016JD026421},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres},
number = 12,
volume = 122,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 6
}
  • This paper presents measurements of the vertical distribution of aerosol extinction coefficient over West Africa, during the Dust and Biomass burning aerosol Experiment (DABEX) / African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis dry season Special Observing period zero (AMMA-SOP0). In situ aircraft measurements from the UK FAAM aircraft are compared with two ground based lidars (POLIS and ARM MPL) and an airborne lidar on an ultra-light aircraft. In general mineral dust was observed at low altitudes (up to 2km) and a mixture of biomass burning aerosol and dust was observed at altitudes of 2-5km. The study exposes difficulties associated with spatial and temporalmore » variability when inter-comparing aircraft and ground measurements. Averaging over many profiles provided a better means of assessing consistent errors and biases associated with in situ sampling instruments and retrievals of lidar ratios. Shortwave radiative transfer calculations and a 3-year simulation with the HadGEM2-A climate model show that the radiative effect of biomass burning aerosol is somewhat sensitive to the vertical distribution of aerosol. Results show a 15% increase in absorption of solar radiation by elevated biomass burning aerosol when the observed low-level dust layer is included as part of the background atmospheric state in the model. This illustrates that the radiative forcing of anthropogenic absorbing aerosol is sensitive to the treatment of other aerosol species and that care is needed in simulating natural aerosols assumed to exist in the pre-industrial, or natural state of the atmosphere.« less
  • During all eight flights conducted over the equatorial and tropical South Atlantic in the course of the Chemical Instrumentation Test and Evaluation (CITE 3) experiment, we observed haze layers with elevated concentrations of aerosols, O3, CO, and other trace gases related to biomass burning emissions. They occurred at altitudes between 1000 and 5200 m and were usually only some 100-300 m thick. These layers extended horizontally over several 100 km and were marked by the presence of visible brownish haze. Air mass trajectories indicate that these layers originate in the biomass burning regions of Africa and South America and typicallymore » have aged at least 10 days since the time of emission. In the haze layers, O3 and CO concentrations up to 90 and 210 ppb were observed, respectively. The two species were highly correlated. The ratio concentrations in plume minus background concentrations of O3/CO is typically in the range 0.2-0.7, much higher than the ratios in the less aged plumes investigated previously in Amazonia. In most cases, aerosol (0.12-3 micrometer diameter) number concentrations were also elevated by up to 400/cu cm in the layers; aerosol enrichments were also strongly correlated with elevated CO levels. Clear correlations between CO and NO(x) enrichments were not apparent due to the age of the plumes, in which most NO(x) would have already reacted away within 1-2 days. Only in some of the plumes could clear correlations between NO(y) and CO be identified; the absence of a general correlation between NO(y) and CO may be due to instrumental limitations and to variable sinks for NO(y). The average enrichment of the ratio concentrations in plume minus background concentrations of NO(y)/CO was quite high, consistent with the efficient production of ozone observed in the plumes. (Abstract Truncated)« less
  • The direct and semi-direct radiative effects of biomass burning aerosols from Southern African fires during July-October are investigated using 20 year runs of the Community Atmospheric Model (CAM) coupled to a slab ocean model. The aerosol optical depth is constrained using observations in clear skies from MODIS and for aerosol layers above clouds from CALIPSO. Over the ocean, where the absorbing biomass burning aerosol layers are primarily located above cloud, negative top of atmosphere (TOA) semi-direct radiative effects associated with increased low cloud cover dominate over a weaker positive all-sky direct radiative effect (DRE). In contrast, over the land wheremore » the aerosols are often below or within cloud layers, reductions in cloud liquid water path (LWP) lead to a positive semi-direct radiative effect that dominates over a near-zero DRE. Over the ocean, the cloud response can be understood as a response to increased lower tropospheric stability (LTS) which is caused both by aerosol absorptive warming in overlying layers and surface cooling in response to direct aerosol forcing. The ocean cloud changes are robust to changes in the cloud parameterization (removal of the hard-wired dependence of clouds on LTS), suggesting that they are physically realistic. Over land where cloud cover changes are minimal, decreased LWP is consistent with weaker convection driven by increased static stability. Over the entire region the overall TOA radiative effect from the biomass burning aerosols is almost zero due to opposing effects over the land and ocean. However, the surface forcing is strongly negative requiring a reduction in precipitation. This is primarily realized through reductions in convective precipitation on both the southern and northern flanks of the convective precipitation region spanning the equatorial rainforest and the ITCZ in the southern Sahel. The changes are consistent with the low-level aerosol forced cooling pattern. The results highlight the importance of semi-direct radiative effects and precipitation responses for determining the climatic effects of aerosols in the African region.« less
  • We estimate the shortwave, diurnally-averaged direct radiative forcing (RF) of the biomass burning aerosol characterized by measurements made from the University of Washington (UW) research aircraft during the Southern African Regional Science Initiative in August and September 2000 (SAFARI-2000). We describe the methodology used to arrive at the best estimates of the measurement-based RF and discuss the confidence intervals of the estimates of RF that arise from uncertainties in measurements and assumptions necessary to describe the aerosol optical properties. We apply the methodology to the UW aircraft vertical profiles and estimate that the top of the atmosphere RF (RFtoa) rangesmore » from -1.5±3.2 to -14.4±3.5 W m-2, while the surface RF (RFsfc) ranges from -10.5±2.4 to -81.3±7.5 W m-2. These estimates imply that the aerosol RF of the atmosphere (RFatm) ranges from 5.0±2.3 to 73.3±11.0 W m-2. We compare some of the estimates to RF that we estimate using Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) aerosol optical properties, and show that the agreement is 2 of good for RFtoa, but poor for RFsfc. We also show that linear models accurately describe the relationship of RF with the aerosol optical depth at a wavelength of 550 nm (τ550). This relationship is known as the radiative forcing efficiency (RFE) and we find that RFtoa (unlike RFatm and RFsfc) depends not only on variations in τ550, but that the linear model itself is dependent on the magnitude of τ550. We then apply the models for RFE to daily τ550 derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite to estimate the RF over southern Africa from March 2000 to December 2006. Using the combination of UW and MODIS data, we find that the annual RFtoa, RFatm, and RFsfc over the region is -4.7±2.7 W m-2, 11.4±5.7 W m-2, and -18.3±5.8 W m-2, respectively.« less
  • This study uses a century length pre-industrial climate simulation by the Community Earth System Model (CESM 1.0) to explore statistical relationships between dust, clouds and atmospheric circulation, and to suggest a dynamical, rather than microphysical, mechanism linking subtropical North Atlantic lower tropospheric cloud cover with North African dust transport. The length of the run allows us to account for interannual variability of dust emissions and transport downstream of North Africa in the model. CESM’s mean climatology and probability distribution of aerosol optical depth in this region agrees well with available AERONET observations. In addition, CESM shows strong seasonal cycles ofmore » dust burden and lower tropospheric cloud fraction, with maximum values occurring during boreal summer, when a strong correlation between these two variables exists downstream of North Africa over the subtropical North Atlantic. Calculations of Estimated Inversion Strength (EIS) and composites of EIS on high and low downstream North Africa dust months during boreal summer reveal that dust is likely increasing inversion strength over this region due to both solar absorption and reflection. We find no evidence for a microphysical link between dust and lower tropospheric clouds in this region. These results yield new insight over an extensive period of time into the complex relationship between North African dust and lower tropospheric clouds over the open ocean, which has previously been hindered by spatiotemporal constraints of observations. Our findings lay a framework for future analyses using sub-monthly data over regions with different underlying dynamics.« less