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  • Author or Editor: Xiang Li x
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Xiang Li
,
Sundar A. Christopher
,
Joyce Chou
, and
Ronald M. Welch

Abstract

Using a new angular distribution model (ADM) for smoke aerosols, the instantaneous top-of-atmosphere (TOA) shortwave aerosol radiative forcing (SWARF) is calculated for selected days over biomass-burning regions in South America. The visible and infrared scanner data are used to detect smoke aerosols and the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) scanner data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission are used to obtain the broadband radiances. First, the ADM for smoke aerosols is calculated over land surfaces using a discrete-ordinate radiative transfer model. The instantaneous TOA shortwave (SW) fluxes are estimated using the new smoke ADM and are compared with the SW fluxes from the CERES product. The rms error between the CERES SW fluxes and fluxes using the smoke ADM is 13 W m−2. The TOA SWARFs per unit optical thickness for the six surface types range from −29 to −57 W m−2, showing that smoke aerosols have a distinct cooling effect. The new smoke ADM developed as part of this study could be used to estimate radiative impact of biomass-burning aerosols.

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Cheng-Dong Xu
,
Jin-Feng Wang
,
Mao-Gui Hu
, and
Qing-Xiang Li

Abstract

A probabilistic spatiotemporal approach based on a spatial regression test (SRT-PS) is proposed for the quality control of climate data. It provides a quantitative probability that represents the uncertainty in each temperature observation. The assumption of SRT-PS is that there might be large uncertainty in the station record if there is a large residual difference between the record estimated in the spatial regression test and the true station record. The result of SRT-PS is expressed as a confidence probability ranging from 0 to 1, where a value closer to 1 indicates less uncertainty. The potential of SRT-PS to estimate quantitatively the uncertainty in temperature observations was demonstrated using an annual temperature dataset for China for the period 1971–2000 with seeded errors. SRT-PS was also applied to assess a real dataset, and was compared with two traditional quality control approaches: biweight mean and biweight standard deviation and SRT. The study provides a new approach to assess quantitatively the uncertainty in temperature observations at meteorological stations.

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Xian-Xiang Li
,
Dennis Y. C. Leung
,
Chun-Ho Liu
, and
K. M. Lam

Abstract

The flow characteristics inside urban street canyons were studied in a laboratory water channel. The approaching flow direction was horizontal and perpendicular to the street axis. The street width was adjusted to form street canyons of aspect ratios 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0. The velocity field and turbulent intensity were measured with a laser Doppler anemometer at various locations within the street canyons, which were used to elucidate the flow pattern inside the street canyons. It was found that the previous numerical modeling results are in good agreement with the current experimental results at most locations. For the street canyon of aspect ratio 0.5, which belongs to the wake interference flow regime, the mean and fluctuating velocity components were more difficult to measure as compared with the other two cases because of its more complicated flow pattern. Some guidelines for numerical modeling were developed based on the measurement results. The data presented in this paper can also be used as a comprehensive database for the validation of numerical models.

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Shanchuan Xiao
,
Di Cheng
,
Ning Hu
,
Yongwei Wang
,
Huilin Zhang
,
Yuwang Gou
,
Xiang Li
, and
Zhenglin Lv

Abstract

The use of high-albedo roof materials is a simple and effective way to reduce roof temperature, conserve electricity required for air conditioning, and ease power shortages. In this study, three common cooling roof materials, namely, white elastomeric acrylic (AC) paint, a white thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) membrane, and an aluminum foil composite film–covered styrene–butadiene–styrene bituminous (SBS) membranes, were chosen to conduct a nearly 4-yr experiment in Nanjing, China, to study the difference in surface temperatures (ΔTs ) between the cooling roof materials and concrete. The results showed that even during heatwaves, ΔTs was only 2.1°C (AC), 3.8°C (TPO), and 7.0°C (SBS) on average and 6.9°–18.2°C to the greatest extent, which was far less than those reported by many studies. The intensity of solar radiation where the cooling roof material is used and the roof material’s albedo contribute to the difference in ΔTs . The initial albedo of the AC was 0.53 and dropped to 0.16 due to rapid aging, which is close to that of concrete, in less than 3 months. The albedo of TPO and SBS dropped to 0.16 after 9 and 4.7 years, respectively. Further, SBS is the optimal choice in terms of cost and performance, costing only USD 0.67 m−2 yr−1. However, its albedo exhibits seasonal fluctuations and is significantly affected by air pollution. In particular, particulate matter settles on the surface, thereby decreasing the albedo. Nevertheless, manual cleaning can recover the albedo, extend service life, and further reduce costs.

Open access
Sundar A. Christopher
,
Xiang Li
,
Ronald M. Welch
,
Jeffrey S. Reid
,
Peter V. Hobbs
,
Thomas F. Eck
, and
Brent Holben

Abstract

Using in situ measurements of aerosol optical properties and ground-based measurements of aerosol optical thickness (τ s ) during the Smoke, Clouds and Radiation—Brazil (SCAR-B) experiment, a four-stream broadband radiative transfer model is used to estimate the downward shortwave irradiance (DSWI) and top-of-atmosphere (TOA) shortwave aerosol radiative forcing (SWARF) in cloud-free regions dominated by smoke from biomass burning in Brazil. The calculated DSWI values are compared with broadband pyranometer measurements made at the surface. The results show that, for two days when near-coincident measurements of single-scattering albedo ω 0 and τ s are available, the root-mean-square errors between the measured and calculated DSWI for daytime data are within 30 W m−2. For five days during SCAR-B, however, when assumptions about ω 0 have to be made and also when τ s was significantly higher, the differences can be as large as 100 W m−2. At TOA, the SWARF per unit optical thickness ranges from −20 to −60 W m−2 over four major ecosystems in South America. The results show that τ s and ω 0 are the two most important parameters that affect DSWI calculations. For SWARF values, surface albedos also play an important role. It is shown that ω 0 must be known within 0.05 and τ s at 0.55 μm must be known to within 0.1 to estimate DSWI to within 20 W m−2. The methodology described in this paper could serve as a potential strategy for determining DSWI values in the presence of aerosols. The wavelength dependence of τ s and ω 0 over the entire shortwave spectrum is needed to improve radiative transfer calculations. If global retrievals of DSWI and SWARF from satellite measurements are to be performed in the presence of biomass-burning aerosols on a routine basis, a concerted effort should be made to develop methodologies for estimating ω 0 and τ s from satellite and ground-based measurements.

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