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Arctic spring and summertime aerosol optical depth baseline from long-term...

Xian, P., J. Zhang, N. T. O’Neill, T. Toth, B. Sorenson, P. R. Colarco, Z. Kipling, E. Hyer, J. R. Campbell, J. S. Reid, and K. Ranjbar (2023), Arctic spring and summertime aerosol optical depth baseline from long-term observations and model reanalyses – Part 1: Climatology and trend, Atmos. Chem. Phys., doi:10.5194/acp-22-9915-2022.

We present an Arctic aerosol optical depth (AOD) climatology and trend analysis for 2003–2019 spring and summertime periods derived from a combination of multi-agency aerosol reanalyses, remote-sensing retrievals, and ground observations. This includes the U.S. Navy Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System ReAnalysis version 1 (NAAPS-RA v1), the NASA Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA-2), and the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service ReAnalysis (CAMSRA). Spaceborne remote-sensing retrievals of AOD are considered from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), and the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP). Ground-based data include sun photometer data from AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) sites and oceanic Maritime Aerosol Network (MAN) measurements. Aerosol reanalysis AODs and spaceborne retrievals show consistent climatological spatial patterns and trends for both spring and summer seasons over the lower Arctic (60–70◦ N). Consistent AOD trends are also found for the high Arctic (north of 70◦ N) from reanalyses. The aerosol reanalyses yield more consistent AOD results than climate models, can be verified well with AERONET, and corroborate complementary climatological and trend analysis. Speciated AODs are more variable than total AOD among the three reanalyses and a little more so for March–May (MAM) than for June–August (JJA). Black carbon (BC) AOD in the Arctic comes predominantly from biomass burning (BB) sources in both MAM and JJA, and BB overwhelms anthropogenic sources in JJA for the study period.

AOD exhibits a multi-year negative MAM trend and a positive JJA trend in the Arctic during 2003–2019, due to an overall decrease in sulfate/anthropogenic pollution and a significant JJA increase in BB smoke. Interannual Arctic AOD variability is significantly large, driven by fine-mode and, specifically, BB smoke, with both smoke contribution and interannual variation larger in JJA than in MAM. It is recommended that climate models should account for BB emissions and BB interannual variabilities and trends in Arctic climate change studies.

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Research Program: 
Interdisciplinary Science Program (IDS)
Funding Sources: 
Interdisciplinary Research in Earth Sciences