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R. J. Charlson, T. Silver, A. D. Clarke, and B. A. Bodhaine

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Susanne Grossman-Clarke, Yubao Liu, Joseph A. Zehnder, and Jerome D. Fast

Abstract

A modified version of the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model (MM5) was applied to the arid Phoenix, Arizona, metropolitan region. The ability of the model to simulate characteristics of the summertime urban planetary boundary layer (PBL) was tested by comparing model results with observations from two field campaigns conducted in May/June 1998 and June 2001. The modified MM5 included a refined land use/cover classification and updated land use data for Phoenix and bulk approaches of characteristics of the urban surface energy balance. PBL processes were simulated by a version of MM5’s Medium-Range Forecast Model (MRF) scheme that was enhanced by new surface flux and nonlocal mixing approaches. Simulated potential temperature profiles were tested against radiosonde data, indicating that the modified MRF scheme was able to simulate vertical mixing and the evolution and height of the PBL with good accuracy and better than the original MRF scheme except in the late afternoon. During both simulation periods, it is demonstrated that the modified MM5 simulated near-surface air temperatures and wind speeds in the urban area consistently and considerably better than the standard MM5 and that wind direction simulations were improved slightly.

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A. Clarke, V. Kapustin, S. Howell, K. Moore, B. Lienert, S. Masonis, T. Anderson, and D. Covert

Abstract

The authors' participation in the Shoreline Environment Aerosol Study (SEAS) involved measurements focused on the coastal aerosol size distribution and related optical measurements, including aerosol light scattering, visibility, and remote sensing of aerosol using lidar backscatter. Aerosol production from shoreline breaking waves and the more distant reef (∼1 km) was characterized for dry sizes between 0.01 and 10 μm for both their contribution to the marine aerosol population and their influence on near-surface lidar extinction. Thermal volatility was used to extract the refractory sea-salt particles from the other constituents volatile at 360°C. At 7 m ASL and 20 m inland from the water's edge the production of sea-salt nuclei number was often in the range of 50–100 cm−3 above the open-ocean value of ∼250 cm−3. This number peak was near 0.03-μm dry diameter, while light scattering was dominated by a few particles larger than 1 μm. This indicates that production of sea salt from breaking waves contributes not only to aerosol mass and optical effects but also to nuclei mode particle number in remote regions. Separate studies of optical closure quantified links between the size distribution and optical scattering measurements, visibility, and extinction values for both nearshore breaking waves and open-ocean conditions. These data confirmed that extinction derived from coastal lidar measurements at 0.530 μm was accurate to better than the 25% uncertainty claimed for the lidar inversion.

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P. Campuzano-Jost, C. D. Clark, H. Maring, D. S. Covert, S. Howell, V. Kapustin, K. A. Clarke, E. S. Saltzman, and A. J. Hynes

Abstract

The first deployment of an emission-based aerosol sodium detector (ASD), designed to chemically characterize marine aerosols on a near-real-time basis, is reported. Deployment occurred as part of the Shoreline Environment Aerosol Study (SEAS) from 16 April to 1 May 2000 at Bellows Air Force Base on the east side of Oahu, where the University of Hawaii's Department of Oceanography maintains a tower for aerosol measurements. The instrument was operated in size-unsegregated mode and measurements were made that included two extended continuous sampling periods, each of which lasted for 24 h. During this time, the ASD was compared with measurements that used aerosol volatility coupled with optical particle counting to infer sea-salt size distributions. A reasonable agreement was obtained between the instruments when sampling in clean air, suggesting that under these conditions both approaches can provide reliable sea-salt distributions. The combination of these measurements suggested that sea salt was the dominant constituent of aerosol particles with diameters larger than 500 nm and that sulfate was the dominant constituent at smaller diameters during clean air sampling.

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Michael A. Taylor, Leonardo A. Clarke, Abel Centella, Arnoldo Bezanilla, Tannecia S. Stephenson, Jhordanne J. Jones, Jayaka D. Campbell, Alejandro Vichot, and John Charlery

Abstract

A 10-member ensemble from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) is used to analyze the Caribbean’s future climate when mean global surface air temperatures are 1.5°, 2.0°, and 2.5°C above preindustrial (1861–1900) values. The global warming targets are attained by the 2030s, 2050s, and 2070s respectively for RCP4.5. The Caribbean on average exhibits smaller mean surface air temperature increases than the globe, although there are parts of the region that are always warmer than the global warming targets. In comparison to the present (using a 1971–2000 baseline), the Caribbean domain is 0.5° to 1.5°C warmer at the 1.5°C target, 5%–10% wetter except for the northeast and southeast Caribbean, which are drier, and experiences increases in annual warm spells of more than 100 days. At the 2.0°C target, there is additional warming by 0.2°–1.0°C, a further extension of warm spells by up to 70 days, a shift to a predominantly drier region (5%–15% less than present day), and a greater occurrence of droughts. The climate patterns at 2.5°C indicate an intensification of the changes seen at 2.0°C. The shift in the rainfall pattern between 1.5°C (wet) and 2.0°C (dry) for parts of the domain has implications for regional adaptation pursuits. The results provide some justification for the lobby by the Caribbean Community and Small Island Developing States to limit global warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, as embodied in the slogan “1.5 to Stay Alive.”

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C. R. Mechoso, R. Wood, R. Weller, C. S. Bretherton, A. D. Clarke, H. Coe, C. Fairall, J. T. Farrar, G. Feingold, R. Garreaud, C. Grados, J. McWilliams, S. P. de Szoeke, S. E. Yuter, and P. Zuidema

The present paper describes the Variability of the American Monsoon Systems (VAMOS) Ocean–Cloud–Atmosphere–Land Study (VOCALS), an international research program focused on the improved understanding and modeling of the southeastern Pacific (SEP) climate system on diurnal to interannual time scales. In the framework of the SEP climate, VOCALS has two fundamental objectives: 1) improved simulations by coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation models (CGCMs), with an emphasis on reducing systematic errors in the region; and 2) improved estimates of the indirect effects of aerosols on low clouds and climate, with an emphasis on the more precise quantification of those effects. VOCALS major scientific activities are outlined, and selected achievements are highlighted. Activities described include monitoring in the region, a large international field campaign (the VOCALS Regional Experiment), and two model assessments. The program has already produced significant advances in the understanding of major issues in the SEP: the coastal circulation and the diurnal cycle, the ocean heat budget, factors controlling precipitation and formation of pockets of open cells in stratocumulus decks, aerosol impacts on clouds, and estimation of the first aerosol indirect effect. The paper concludes with a brief presentation on VOCALS contributions to community capacity building before a summary of scientific findings and remaining questions.

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J. W. Hurrell, M. Visbeck, A. Busalacchi, R. A. Clarke, T. L. Delworth, R. R. Dickson, W. E. Johns, K. P. Koltermann, Y. Kushnir, D. Marshall, C. Mauritzen, M. S. McCartney, A. Piola, C. Reason, G. Reverdin, F. Schott, R. Sutton, I. Wainer, and D. Wright

Abstract

Three interrelated climate phenomena are at the center of the Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) Atlantic research: tropical Atlantic variability (TAV), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (MOC). These phenomena produce a myriad of impacts on society and the environment on seasonal, interannual, and longer time scales through variability manifest as coherent fluctuations in ocean and land temperature, rainfall, and extreme events. Improved understanding of this variability is essential for assessing the likely range of future climate fluctuations and the extent to which they may be predictable, as well as understanding the potential impact of human-induced climate change. CLIVAR is addressing these issues through prioritized and integrated plans for short-term and sustained observations, basin-scale reanalysis, and modeling and theoretical investigations of the coupled Atlantic climate system and its links to remote regions. In this paper, a brief review of the state of understanding of Atlantic climate variability and achievements to date is provided. Considerable discussion is given to future challenges related to building and sustaining observing systems, developing synthesis strategies to support understanding and attribution of observed change, understanding sources of predictability, and developing prediction systems in order to meet the scientific objectives of the CLIVAR Atlantic program.

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C. L. Reddington, K. S. Carslaw, P. Stier, N. Schutgens, H. Coe, D. Liu, J. Allan, J. Browse, K. J. Pringle, L. A. Lee, M. Yoshioka, J. S. Johnson, L. A. Regayre, D. V. Spracklen, G. W. Mann, A. Clarke, M. Hermann, S. Henning, H. Wex, T. B. Kristensen, W. R. Leaitch, U. Pöschl, D. Rose, M. O. Andreae, J. Schmale, Y. Kondo, N. Oshima, J. P. Schwarz, A. Nenes, B. Anderson, G. C. Roberts, J. R. Snider, C. Leck, P. K. Quinn, X. Chi, A. Ding, J. L. Jimenez, and Q. Zhang

Abstract

The largest uncertainty in the historical radiative forcing of climate is caused by changes in aerosol particles due to anthropogenic activity. Sophisticated aerosol microphysics processes have been included in many climate models in an effort to reduce the uncertainty. However, the models are very challenging to evaluate and constrain because they require extensive in situ measurements of the particle size distribution, number concentration, and chemical composition that are not available from global satellite observations. The Global Aerosol Synthesis and Science Project (GASSP) aims to improve the robustness of global aerosol models by combining new methodologies for quantifying model uncertainty, to create an extensive global dataset of aerosol in situ microphysical and chemical measurements, and to develop new ways to assess the uncertainty associated with comparing sparse point measurements with low-resolution models. GASSP has assembled over 45,000 hours of measurements from ships and aircraft as well as data from over 350 ground stations. The measurements have been harmonized into a standardized format that is easily used by modelers and nonspecialist users. Available measurements are extensive, but they are biased to polluted regions of the Northern Hemisphere, leaving large pristine regions and many continental areas poorly sampled. The aerosol radiative forcing uncertainty can be reduced using a rigorous model–data synthesis approach. Nevertheless, our research highlights significant remaining challenges because of the difficulty of constraining many interwoven model uncertainties simultaneously. Although the physical realism of global aerosol models still needs to be improved, the uncertainty in aerosol radiative forcing will be reduced most effectively by systematically and rigorously constraining the models using extensive syntheses of measurements.

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W. P. Kustas, D.C. Goodrich, M.S. Moran, S. A. Amer, L. B. Bach, J. H. Blanford, A. Chehbouni, H. Claassen, W. E. Clements, P. C. Doraiswamy, P. Dubois, T. R. Clarke, C. S. T. Daughtry, D. I. Gellman, T. A. Grant, L. E. Hipps, A. R. Huete, K. S. Humes, T. J. Jackson, T. O. Keefer, W. D. Nichols, R. Parry, E. M. Perry, R. T. Pinker, P. J. Pinter Jr., J. Qi, A. C. Riggs, T. J. Schmugge, A. M. Shutko, D. I. Stannard, E. Swiatek, J. D. van Leeuwen, J. van Zyl, A. Vidal, J. Washburne, and M. A. Weltz

Arid and semiarid rangelands comprise a significant portion of the earth's land surface. Yet little is known about the effects of temporal and spatial changes in surface soil moisture on the hydrologic cycle, energy balance, and the feedbacks to the atmosphere via thermal forcing over such environments. Understanding this interrelationship is crucial for evaluating the role of the hydrologic cycle in surface–atmosphere interactions.

This study focuses on the utility of remote sensing to provide measurements of surface soil moisture, surface albedo, vegetation biomass, and temperature at different spatial and temporal scales. Remote-sensing measurements may provide the only practical means of estimating some of the more important factors controlling land surface processes over large areas. Consequently, the use of remotely sensed information in biophysical and geophysical models greatly enhances their ability to compute fluxes at catchment and regional scales on a routine basis. However, model calculations for different climates and ecosystems need verification. This requires that the remotely sensed data and model computations be evaluated with ground-truth data collected at the same areal scales.

The present study (MONSOON 90) attempts to address this issue for semiarid rangelands. The experimental plan included remotely sensed data in the visible, near-infrared, thermal, and microwave wavelengths from ground and aircraft platforms and, when available, from satellites. Collected concurrently were ground measurements of soil moisture and temperature, energy and water fluxes, and profile data in the atmospheric boundary layer in a hydrologically instrumented semiarid rangeland watershed. Field experiments were conducted in 1990 during the dry and wet or “monsoon season” for the southwestern United States. A detailed description of the field campaigns, including measurements and some preliminary results are given.

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John H. Seinfeld, Gregory R. Carmichael, Richard Arimoto, William C. Conant, Frederick J. Brechtel, Timothy S. Bates, Thomas A. Cahill, Antony D. Clarke, Sarah J. Doherty, Piotr J. Flatau, Barry J. Huebert, Jiyoung Kim, Krzysztof M. Markowicz, Patricia K. Quinn, Lynn M. Russell, Philip B. Russell, Atsushi Shimizu, Yohei Shinozuka, Chul H. Song, Youhua Tang, Itsushi Uno, Andrew M. Vogelmann, Rodney J. Weber, Jung-Hun Woo, and Xiao Y. Zhang

Although continental-scale plumes of Asian dust and pollution reduce the amount of solar radiation reaching the earth's surface and perturb the chemistry of the atmosphere, our ability to quantify these effects has been limited by a lack of critical observations, particularly of layers above the surface. Comprehensive surface, airborne, shipboard, and satellite measurements of Asian aerosol chemical composition, size, optical properties, and radiative impacts were performed during the Asian Pacific Regional Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE-Asia) study. Measurements within a massive Chinese dust storm at numerous widely spaced sampling locations revealed the highly complex structure of the atmosphere, in which layers of dust, urban pollution, and biomass- burning smoke may be transported long distances as distinct entities or mixed together. The data allow a first-time assessment of the regional climatic and atmospheric chemical effects of a continental-scale mixture of dust and pollution. Our results show that radiative flux reductions during such episodes are sufficient to cause regional climate change.

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