Vertical profiles, transport and removal

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AeroCom wiki discussion entry

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See also summary of AeroCom/Recommendations

AeroCom working group Vertical profiles, transport and removal


Christiane Textor, Paul Ginoux, Rich Ferrare, Ralph Kahn, Oyvind Seeland, Philippe Stier,Dave Winker (&CALIPSO science team), Xhiahong Liu, Dorothy Koch, Trond Iverson, Graham Mann, Steve Ghan, Mian Chin, Hiuisheng Bian (GMI), Michael Schulz, Jacques Pelon, Cam McNaughton


  • Understanding of model diversity in spatial distribution and in removal processes
  • Evaluate simulated spatial distribution and processes with observations
  • Establish/quantify an acceptable diversity in global aerosol simulations
  • Find methods to evaluate process parameterisations
  • Define dedicated diagnostics of model results
  • Elaborate recommendations
  • Collect data for model evaluation (vertical profiles&processes) including uncertainty
  • This working group has a special focus on dust.

Specific scientific questions

  • How realistic are the simulated (vertical and horizontal) spatial aerosol distributions?
  • How to validate aerosol processes?
  • Is the diversity of simulated vertical dispersal caused by differences in transport or by removal processes?
  • How much complexity of aerosol models is necessary?
  • more

Processes and possible Diagnostics

Document model parameterisations
Assemble observed vertical profiles to evaluate models
PBL vs. Troposphere, look at mesoscale models
Exchange modules (use in the same GCM, link to GMI)

Short-term actions/experiments

Compare AeroCom data to observations
Redo simulation for 2003 with specific diagnostics
Passive tracer experiment (HTAP CO-experiments)
Validate model results with observed vertical LIDAR profiles: Rich and Christiane
Ensure a link to the scavenging workshop planned by NCAR and NASA (P. Rash and J. Rodriguez).

The first months of Calipso data should be a primary goal for a joint experiment. July-August 2006. Emissions from biomass burning should be up to date. Charles Ichoku proposed to prepare an emission dataset based on radiative power energy and MODIS fire spots. Guido van der Werf is investigating the burnt area product readiness.

Data to look at

  • vertical distribution

ground-based networks: lidar backscatter (corrected), extinction ARM MPLNET EARLINET
satellites: GLASS, MISR?, CALIPSO aircraft campaigns

  • horizontal distribution

station data (surf conc) networks
satellite data (e.g. on dust episodes to pin down horizontal transport)

  • processes

wet deposition of SO4?

Contact persons/experts

provide vertical profile LIDAR data: Rich Ferrare
CALIPSO: Dave Winker
MISR: Ralph Kahn
Access to AeroCom data base: Christiane Textor
Dust questions: Paul Ginoux

Preparation of 6th AeroCom meeting, Lille Oct 25/26 2007

Christiane launches preparation [8 Oct 2007]

Dear (present and future) members of the AeroCom working group on Vertical profiles, transport and removal !

I am contacting you here to prepare the AeroCom workshops in about 2 weeks.

One year has passed since the last AeroCom workshop in Virginia Beach, and our working group - we have to face it - has not been very active. I guess this is because all of us have been very busy with other things. At least this was the case for me (and I am sorry that I have not been more active), but I would like to re-launch our working group now.

The AeroCom data are available for everybody interested in working with them. This is an ideal opportunity for to start a joint effort on finding answers to important questions in aerosol research!

I think in order to achieve something in the coming year, we need to focus on only one or a few key problems, define a strategy how to tackle them, and find the people interested in sharing the work. I hope we can do this during the workshop!

To start our discusssion, I have summarized the ideas from the last workshop and suggestions on how to proceed in the File:AeroCom working group Vertical.doc. This is a start, but your input is needed!!! Please add the information you are aware of and send it back to me by the end of this week, Friday 12 October.

Thank you very much in advance!

Please feel free to forward this email to anyone interested to contribute.

Best regards, Christiane

Reply Ralph Kahn [9 Oct 2007]

Thanks, Christiane.

I'm looking forward to seeing you in Lille. I've included a few notes below.

Be well. Ralph

1. The Agenda/questions are good. One thought. about Question 4. It might be reworded (or it might be a follow-on question): How much complexity of aerosol models is justified?

My thought is that there are probably limits to the amount of complexity that can be tested in a model, and perhaps that may indicate some limit on how much complexity is justified. We are finding this with the satellite data -- no surprise, but now we are beginning to get specific about the limitations.

2. I'll do what I can to represent MISR, though I may have to attend a separate meeting for part of the first afternoon -- not sure yet.

3. Another recent paper you may find of interest is:

Kahn, R. A., M. J. Garay, D. L. Nelson, K. K. Yau, M. A. Bull, B. J. Gaitley, J. V. Martonchik, and R. C. Levy (2007), Satellite-derived aerosol optical depth over dark water from MISR and MODIS: Comparisons with AERONET and implications for climatological studies, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D18205, doi:10.1029/2006JD008175.

Reply Xiaohong Lui [10 Oct 2007]


Thanks for summarizing on the vertical distribution & removal. I think one thing that AEROCOM may consider is to link to the NASA GMI project, because some goals of this project are also to identify the uncertainties due to transport and removal (i.e., using different meteorological and physical and chemical parameterization modules).

Here is the website:

Also we may include our GMI aerosol paper: Liu et al. (2007) in your publication lists.


Comment Michael Schulz [10 Oct 2007]

Hi Xiaohong,

You are right, but how exactly shall we link GMI and AeroCom? Thanks for some concrete ideas on that.

Actually - maybe we are just in the middle of such a discussion, since the AC&C concept from Jose is indeed on the table. Christiane and me looked at it and it would be excellent if we get to some joint plan in the near future. I believe Christiane intended to refer to the AC&C concept at the AeroCom workshop.

greetings Michael