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J. E. Penner, L. C. Haselman Jr., and L. L. Edwards

Abstract

Smoke from raging fires produced in the aftermath of a major nuclear exchange has been predicted to cause large decreases in surface temperatures. However, the extent of the decrease and even the sign of the temperature change depend on how the smoke is distributed with altitude. We present a model capable of evaluating the initial distribution of lofted smoke above a massive fire. Calculations are shown for a two-dimensional slab version of the model and a full three-dimensional version. The model has been evaluated by simulating smoke heights for the Hamburg firestorm of 1943, and a smaller-scale oil fire which occurred in Long Beach in 1958. Our plume heights for these fires are compared to those predicted by the classical Morton-Taylor-Turner theory for weakly buoyant plumes. We consider the effect of the added buoyancy caused by condensation of water-laden ground level air being carried to high altitude with the convection column, as well as the effects of background wind on the calculated smoke plume heights for several fire intensities. We find that the rise height of the plume depends on the assumed background atmospheric conditions, as well as the fire intensity.

Little smoke is injected into the stratosphere unless the fire is unusually intense or atmospheric conditions are more unstable than we have assumed. For intense fires, significant amounts of water vapor are condensed, raising the possibility of early scavenging of smoke particles by precipitation.

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Xiaohong Liu, Joyce E. Penner, Steven J. Ghan, and Minghuai Wang

Abstract

A prognostic equation for ice crystal number concentration together with an ice nucleation scheme are implemented in the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Atmospheric Model version 3 (CAM3) with the aim of studying the indirect effect of aerosols on cold clouds. The effective radius of ice crystals, which is used in the radiation and gravitational settlement calculations, is now calculated from model-predicted mass and number of ice crystals rather than diagnosed as a function of temperature. A water vapor deposition scheme is added to replace the condensation and evaporation (C–E) in the standard CAM3 for ice clouds. The repartitioning of total water into liquid and ice in mixed-phase clouds as a function of temperature is removed, and ice supersaturation is allowed. The predicted ice water content in the modified CAM3 is in better agreement with the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) data than that in the standard CAM3. The cirrus cloud fraction near the tropical tropopause, which is underestimated in the standard CAM3 as revealed through comparison with the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment II (SAGE II) data, is increased by 20%–30%, and the cold temperature bias there is reduced by 1–2 K. However, an increase in the cloud fraction in polar regions makes the underestimation (by ∼20 W m−2) of downwelling shortwave radiation in the standard CAM3 even worse. A sensitivity test reducing the threshold relative humidity with respect to ice (RHi) for heterogeneous ice nucleation from 120% to 105% (representing nearly perfect ice nuclei) increases the global cloud cover by 1.4%, temperature near the tropical tropopause by 4–5 K, and water vapor in the stratosphere by 50%–80%.

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J. E. Penner, R. J. Charlson, J. M. Hales, N. S. Laulainen, R. Leifer, T. Novakov, J. Ogren, L. F. Radke, S. E. Schwartz, and L. Travis

Anthropogenic aerosols are composed of a variety of aerosol types and components including water-soluble inorganic species (e.g., sulfate, nitrate, ammonium), condensed organic species, elemental or black carbon, and mineral dust. Previous estimates of the clear sky forcing by anthropogenic sulfate aerosols and by organic biomass-burning aerosols indicate that this forcing is of sufficient magnitude to mask the effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases over large regions. Here, the uncertainty in the forcing by these aerosol types is estimated. The clear sky forcing by other anthropogenic aerosol components cannot be estimated with confidence, although the forcing by these aerosol types appears to be smaller than that by sulfate and biomass-burning aerosols.

The cloudy sky forcing by anthropogenic aerosols, wherein aerosol cloud condensation nuclei concentrations are increased, thereby increasing cloud droplet concentrations and cloud albedo and possibly influencing cloud persistence, may also be significant. In contrast to the situation with the clear sky forcing, estimates of the cloudy sky forcing by anthropogenic aerosols are little more than guesses, and it is not possible to quantify the uncertainty of the estimates.

In view of present concerns over greenhouse gas-induced climate change, this situation dictates the need to quantify the forcing by anthropogenic aerosols and to define and minimize uncertainties in the calculated forcings. In this article, a research strategy for improving the estimates of the clear sky forcing is defined. The strategy encompasses five major, and necessarily coordinated, activities: surface-based observations of aerosol chemical and physical properties and their influence on the radiation field; aircraft-based observations of the same properties; process studies to refine model treatments; satellite observations of aerosol abundance and size distribution; and modeling studies to demonstrate consistency between the observations, to provide guidance for determination of the most important parameters, and to allow extension of the limited set of observations to the global scale. Such a strategy, if aggressively implemented, should allow these effects to be incorporated into climate models in the next several years. A similar strategy for defining the magnitude of the cloudy sky forcing should also be possible, but the less firm understanding of this forcing suggests that research of a more exploratory nature be carried out before undertaking a research strategy of the magnitude recommended for the clear sky forcing.

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Hui Su, Jonathan H. Jiang, Xiaohong Liu, Joyce E. Penner, William G. Read, Steven Massie, Mark R. Schoeberl, Peter Colarco, Nathaniel J. Livesey, and Michelle L. Santee

Abstract

Satellite observations are analyzed to examine the correlations between aerosols and the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) temperature and water vapor. This study focuses on two regions, both of which are important pathways for the mass transport from the troposphere to the stratosphere and over which Asian pollution prevails: South and East Asia during boreal summer and the Maritime Continent during boreal winter. Using the upper-tropospheric carbon monoxide measurements from the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder as a proxy of aerosols to classify ice clouds as polluted or clean, the authors find that polluted clouds have a smaller ice effective radius and a higher temperature and specific humidity near the tropopause than clean clouds. The increase in water vapor appears to be related to the increase in temperature, as a result of increased aerosols. Meteorological differences between the clouds cannot explain the differences in temperature and water vapor for the polluted and clean clouds. The authors hypothesize that aerosol semidirect radiative heating and/or changes in cirrus radiative heating, resulting from aerosol microphysical effects on clouds, may contribute to the increased TTL temperature and thus increased water vapor in the polluted clouds.

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Thomas P. Ackerman, Amy J. Braverman, David J. Diner, Theodore L. Anderson, Ralph A. Kahn, John V. Martonchik, Joyce E. Penner, Philip J. Rasch, Bruce A. Wielicki, and Bin Yu

Given the breadth and complexity of available data, constructing a measurement-based description of global tropospheric aerosols that will effectively confront and constrain global three-dimensional models is a daunting task. Because data are obtained from multiple sources and acquired with nonuniform spatial and temporal sampling, scales, and coverage, protocols need to be established that will organize this vast body of knowledge. Currently, there is no capability to assemble the existing aerosol data into a unified, interoperable whole. Technology advancements now being pursued in high-performance distributed computing initiatives can accomplish this objective. Once the data are organized, there are many approaches that can be brought to bear upon the problem of integrating data from different sources. These include data-driven approaches, such as geospatial statistics formulations, and model-driven approaches, such as assimilation or chemical transport modeling. Establishing a data interoperability framework will stimulate algorithm development and model validation and will facilitate the exploration of synergies between different data types. Data summarization and mining techniques can be used to make statistical inferences about climate system relationships and interpret patterns of aerosol-induced change. Generating descriptions of complex, nonlinear relationships among multiple parameters is critical to climate model improvement and validation. Finally, determining the role of aerosols in past and future climate change ultimately requires the use of fully coupled climate and chemistry models, and the evaluation of these models is required in order to trust their results. The set of recommendations presented here address one component of the Progressive Aerosol Retrieval and Assimilation Global Observing Network (PARAGON) initiative. Implementing them will produce the most accurate four-dimensional representation of global aerosols, which can then be used for testing, constraining, and validating models. These activities are critical components of a sustained program to quantify aerosol effects on global climate.

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David J. Diner, Thomas P. Ackerman, Theodore L. Anderson, Jens Bösenberg, Amy J. Braverman, Robert J. Charlson, William D. Collins, Roger Davies, Brent N. Holben, Chris A . Hostetler, Ralph A. Kahn, John V. Martonchik, Robert T. Menzies, Mark A. Miller, John A. Ogren, Joyce E. Penner, Philip J. Rasch, Stephen E. Schwartz, John H. Seinfeld, Graeme L. Stephens, Omar Torres, Larry D. Travis, Bruce A . Wielicki, and Bin Yu

Aerosols exert myriad influences on the earth's environment and climate, and on human health. The complexity of aerosol-related processes requires that information gathered to improve our understanding of climate change must originate from multiple sources, and that effective strategies for data integration need to be established. While a vast array of observed and modeled data are becoming available, the aerosol research community currently lacks the necessary tools and infrastructure to reap maximum scientific benefit from these data. Spatial and temporal sampling differences among a diverse set of sensors, nonuniform data qualities, aerosol mesoscale variabilities, and difficulties in separating cloud effects are some of the challenges that need to be addressed. Maximizing the longterm benefit from these data also requires maintaining consistently well-understood accuracies as measurement approaches evolve and improve. Achieving a comprehensive understanding of how aerosol physical, chemical, and radiative processes impact the earth system can be achieved only through a multidisciplinary, interagency, and international initiative capable of dealing with these issues. A systematic approach, capitalizing on modern measurement and modeling techniques, geospatial statistics methodologies, and high-performance information technologies, can provide the necessary machinery to support this objective. We outline a framework for integrating and interpreting observations and models, and establishing an accurate, consistent, and cohesive long-term record, following a strategy whereby information and tools of progressively greater sophistication are incorporated as problems of increasing complexity are tackled. This concept is named the Progressive Aerosol Retrieval and Assimilation Global Observing Network (PARAGON). To encompass the breadth of the effort required, we present a set of recommendations dealing with data interoperability; measurement and model integration; multisensor synergy; data summarization and mining; model evaluation; calibration and validation; augmentation of surface and in situ measurements; advances in passive and active remote sensing; and design of satellite missions. Without an initiative of this nature, the scientific and policy communities will continue to struggle with understanding the quantitative impact of complex aerosol processes on regional and global climate change and air quality.

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Ralph A. Kahn, Tim A. Berkoff, Charles Brock, Gao Chen, Richard A. Ferrare, Steven Ghan, Thomas F. Hansico, Dean A. Hegg, J. Vanderlei Martins, Cameron S. McNaughton, Daniel M. Murphy, John A. Ogren, Joyce E. Penner, Peter Pilewskie, John H. Seinfeld, and Douglas R. Worsnop

Abstract

A modest operational program of systematic aircraft measurements can resolve key satellite aerosol data record limitations. Satellite observations provide frequent global aerosol amount maps but offer only loose aerosol property constraints needed for climate and air quality applications. We define and illustrate the feasibility of flying an aircraft payload to measure key aerosol optical, microphysical, and chemical properties in situ. The flight program could characterize major aerosol airmass types statistically, at a level of detail unobtainable from space. It would 1) enhance satellite aerosol retrieval products with better climatology assumptions and 2) improve translation between satellite-retrieved optical properties and species-specific aerosol mass and size simulated in climate models to assess aerosol forcing, its anthropogenic components, and other environmental impacts. As such, Systematic Aircraft Measurements to Characterize Aerosol Air Masses (SAM-CAAM) could add value to data records representing several decades of aerosol observations from space; improve aerosol constraints on climate modeling; help interrelate remote sensing, in situ, and modeling aerosol-type definitions; and contribute to future satellite aerosol missions. Fifteen required variables are identified and four payload options of increasing ambition are defined to constrain these quantities. “Option C” could meet all the SAM-CAAM objectives with about 20 instruments, most of which have flown before, but never routinely several times per week, and never as a group. Aircraft integration and approaches to data handling, payload support, and logistical considerations for a long-term, operational mission are discussed. SAM-CAAM is feasible because, for most aerosol sources and specified seasons, particle properties tend to be repeatable, even if aerosol loading varies.

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Robert J. H. Dunn, F. Aldred, Nadine Gobron, John B. Miller, Kate M. Willett, M. Ades, Robert Adler, Richard, P. Allan, Rob Allan, J. Anderson, Anthony Argüez, C. Arosio, John A. Augustine, C. Azorin-Molina, J. Barichivich, H. E. Beck, Andreas Becker, Nicolas Bellouin, Angela Benedetti, David I. Berry, Stephen Blenkinsop, Olivier Bock, X. Bodin, Michael G. Bosilovich, Olivier Boucher, S. A. Buehler, B. Calmettes, Laura Carrea, Laura Castia, Hanne H. Christiansen, John R. Christy, E.-S. Chung, Melanie Coldewey-Egbers, Owen R. Cooper, Richard C. Cornes, Curt Covey, J.-F. Cretaux, M. Crotwell, Sean M. Davis, Richard A. M. de Jeu, Doug Degenstein, R. Delaloye, Larry Di Girolamo, Markus G. Donat, Wouter A. Dorigo, Imke Durre, Geoff S. Dutton, Gregory Duveiller, James W. Elkins, Vitali E. Fioletov, Johannes Flemming, Michael J. Foster, Stacey M. Frith, Lucien Froidevaux, J. Garforth, Matthew Gentry, S. K. Gupta, S. Hahn, Leopold Haimberger, Brad D. Hall, Ian Harris, D. L. Hemming, M. Hirschi, Shu-pen (Ben) Ho, F. Hrbacek, Daan Hubert, Dale F. Hurst, Antje Inness, K. Isaksen, Viju O. John, Philip D. Jones, Robert Junod, J. W. Kaiser, V. Kaufmann, A. Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Elizabeth C. Kent, R. Kidd, Hyungjun Kim, Z. Kipling, A. Koppa, B. M. Kraemer, D. P. Kratz, Xin Lan, Kathleen O. Lantz, D. Lavers, Norman G. Loeb, Diego Loyola, R. Madelon, Michael Mayer, M. F. McCabe, Tim R. McVicar, Carl A. Mears, Christopher J. Merchant, Diego G. Miralles, L. Moesinger, Stephen A. Montzka, Colin Morice, L. Mösinger, Jens Mühle, Julien P. Nicolas, Jeannette Noetzli, Ben Noll, J. O’Keefe, Tim J. Osborn, T. Park, A. J. Pasik, C. Pellet, Maury S. Pelto, S. E. Perkins-Kirkpatrick, G. Petron, Coda Phillips, S. Po-Chedley, L. Polvani, W. Preimesberger, D. G. Rains, W. J. Randel, Nick A. Rayner, Samuel Rémy, L. Ricciardulli, A. D. Richardson, David A. Robinson, Matthew Rodell, N. J. Rodríguez-Fernández, K.H. Rosenlof, C. Roth, A. Rozanov, T. Rutishäuser, Ahira Sánchez-Lugo, P. Sawaengphokhai, T. Scanlon, Verena Schenzinger, R. W. Schlegel, S. Sharma, Lei Shi, Adrian J. Simmons, Carolina Siso, Sharon L. Smith, B. J. Soden, Viktoria Sofieva, T. H. Sparks, Paul W. Stackhouse Jr., Wolfgang Steinbrecht, Martin Stengel, Dimitri A. Streletskiy, Sunny Sun-Mack, P. Tans, S. J. Thackeray, E. Thibert, D. Tokuda, Kleareti Tourpali, Mari R. Tye, Ronald van der A, Robin van der Schalie, Gerard van der Schrier, M. van der Vliet, Guido R. van der Werf, A. Vance, Jean-Paul Vernier, Isaac J. Vimont, Holger Vömel, Russell S. Vose, Ray Wang, Markus Weber, David Wiese, Anne C. Wilber, Jeanette D. Wild, Takmeng Wong, R. Iestyn Woolway, Xinjia Zhou, Xungang Yin, Guangyu Zhao, Lin Zhao, Jerry R. Ziemke, Markus Ziese, and R. M. Zotta
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