Global view of aerosol vertical distributions from CALIPSO lidar measurements...

Yu, H., M. Chin, D. Winker, A. H. Omar, Z. Liu, C. Kittaka, and T. Diehl (2010), Global view of aerosol vertical distributions from CALIPSO lidar measurements and GOCART simulations: Regional and seasonal variations, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D00H30, doi:10.1029/2009JD013364.

This study examines seasonal variations of the vertical distribution of aerosols through a statistical analysis of the Cloud‐Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) lidar observations from June 2006 to November 2007. A data‐screening scheme is developed to attain good quality data in cloud‐free conditions, and the polarization measurement is used to separate dust from non‐dust aerosol. The CALIPSO aerosol observations are compared with aerosol simulations from the Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation Transport (GOCART) model and aerosol optical depth (AOD) measurements from the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The CALIPSO observations of geographical patterns and seasonal variations of AOD are generally consistent with GOCART simulations and MODIS retrievals especially near source regions, while the magnitude of AOD shows large discrepancies in most regions. Both the CALIPSO observation and GOCART model show that the aerosol extinction scale heights in major dust and smoke source regions are generally higher than that in industrial pollution source regions. The CALIPSO aerosol lidar ratio also generally agrees with GOCART model within 30% on regional scales. Major differences between satellite observations and GOCART model are identified, including (1) an underestimate of aerosol extinction by GOCART over the Indian sub‐continent, (2) much larger aerosol extinction calculated by GOCART than observed by CALIPSO in dust source regions, (3) much weaker in magnitude and more concentrated aerosol in the lower atmosphere in CALIPSO observation than GOCART model over transported areas in midlatitudes, and (4) consistently lower aerosol scale height by CALIPSO observation than GOCART model. Possible factors contributing to these differences are discussed.

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Research Program: 
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)
Radiation Science Program (RSP)