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Validation of aerosol extinction and water vapor profiles from routine...

Schmid, B., C. Flynn, R. K. Newsom, D. D. Turner, R. Ferrare, M. F. Clayton, E. Andrews, J. A. Ogren, R. R. Johnson, P. B. Russell, W. Gore, and R. Dominguez (2009), Validation of aerosol extinction and water vapor profiles from routine Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program Climate Research Facility measurements, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D22207, doi:10.1029/2009JD012682.

The accuracy with which vertical profiles of aerosol extinction sep(l) can be measured using routine Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Climate Research Facility (ACRF) measurements and was assessed using data from two airborne field campaigns, the ARM Aerosol Intensive Operation Period (AIOP, May 2003), and the Aerosol Lidar Validation Experiment (ALIVE, September 2005). This assessment pertains to the aerosol at its ambient concentration and thermodynamic state (i.e., sep(l) either free of or corrected for sampling artifacts) and includes the following ACRF routine methods: Raman lidar, micropulse lidar (MPL), and in situ aerosol profiles (IAP) with a small aircraft. Profiles of aerosol optical depth t p(l), from which the profiles of sep(l) are derived through vertical differentiation, were measured by the NASA Ames Airborne Tracking 14-channel Sun photometer (AATS-14); these data were used as benchmark in this evaluation. The ACRF IAP sep(550 nm) were lower by 11% (during AIOP) and higher by 1% (during ALIVE) when compared to AATS-14. The ACRF MPL sep(523 nm) measurements were higher by 24% (AIOP) and 19–21% (ALIVE) compared to AATS-14, but the correlation improved significantly during ALIVE. In the AIOP, a second MPL operated by NASA showed a smaller positive bias (13%) with respect to AATS-14. The ACRF Raman lidar sep(355 nm) measurements were larger by 54% (AIOP) and by 6% (ALIVE) compared to AATS-14. The large bias in the Raman lidar measurements during AIOP stemmed from a gradual loss of Raman lidar sensitivity starting about the end of 2001 going unnoticed until after AIOP. A major refurbishment and upgrade of the instrument and improvements to a data processing algorithm led to the significant improvement and very small bias in ALIVE. Finally, we find that during ALIVE the Raman lidar water vapor densities rw are 8% larger when compared to AATS-14, whereas in situ measured rw aboard two different aircraft are smaller than the AATS-14 values by 0.3–3%.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)