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A. J. Alkezweeny and N. S. Laulainen

Abstract

Clean and polluted air masses, advected over Lake Michigan, were studied using instrumented aircraft during the summers of 1976 and 1978. The results show that regardless of the degree of pollution, the particle size distribution is bimodal. The concentrations of sulfate, nitrate and trace metals in a clean air mass are more than an order of magnitude lower than those in polluted air masses. Furthermore, these concentrations are comparable with those measured in remote areas of the world. In clean air the ratio of the total light scattering to Rayleigh scattering is very close to one, indicating very low concentrations of particulates in the optically active size classes.

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B. C. Scott and N. S. Laulainen

Abstract

Two case studies are used to examine the relationship of the sulfate concentration in surface precipitation to the microphysical characteristics of the precipitating cloud systems. The data from one case study support the contention that existing sulfate aerosol was incorporated into cloud water by the nucleation process and accounted for nearly all of the observed cloud and precipitation water sulfate concentration. These activated sulfate particles comprised nearly 60% of the clear-air sulfate mass concentration. Once nucleated, the sulfate particles accumulated water through the condensation process and were subsequently deposited at the surface after accretion on large snowflakes. The presumption of aqueous phase sulfate oxidation of SO2 was not necessary to account for the observed sulfate concentrations.

The data from the second case study are more limited and difficult to interpret. Nucleation and below cloud washout appeared to be the main contributors to the surface sulfate concentration in precipitation water.

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N. S. Laulainen, A. J. Alkezweeny, and J. M. Thorp

Abstract

An experiment designed to measure aerosol size distributions and turbidity simultaneously over a metropolitan area is described. The particle volume size distributions measured in the city plume are found to be bimodal, with the total particle volume in the fine or submicron mode decreasing dramatically above the inversion. Aerosol extinction coefficients derived from sunphotometer optical depth measurements at four wavelengths are compared to those calculated from the measured size distributions using Mie theory with several different particle refractive indices. The accuracy of the experimental method for determining the aerosol extinction coefficient prevented any meaningful choice of the real part of particle refractive index between 1.5–1.6 and an imaginary part between 0 and −0.1i. Improvements to this type of experiment are discussed.

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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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V. E. Cachorro, A. Berjón, C. Toledano, S. Mogo, N. Prats, A. M. de Frutos, J. M. Vilaplana, M. Sorribas, B. A. De La Morena, J. Gröbner, and N. Laulainen

Abstract

Aerosol optical depth (AOD) using different instruments during three short and intensive campaigns carried out from 1999 to 2001 at El Arenosillo in Huelva, Spain, are presented and compared. The specific aim of this study is to determine the level of agreement between three different instruments running in operational conditions. This activity, however, is part of a broader objective to recover an extended data series of AOD in the UV range obtained from a Brewer spectroradiometer. This instrument may be used to obtain AOD at the same five UV wavelengths used during normal operation for ozone content determination. As part of the validation of the Brewer AOD data, a Cimel sun photometer and another spectroradiometer, a Li-Cor 1800, were used. A detailed comparison of these three instruments is carried out by means of near-simultaneous measurements, with particular emphasis on examining diurnal AOD variability. Absolute AOD uncertainties range from 0.02 for the Cimel to 0.08 for the Brewer, with intermediate values for the Li-Cor 1800. All data during the comparison are in reasonable agreement, when taking into account the different performance characteristics of each instrument. The comparison also demonstrates current deficiencies in the Brewer data and thus the difficulty to determine AOD values with low errors.

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R. A. Peppler, C. P. Bahrmann, J. C. Barnard, J. R. Campbell, M.-D. Cheng, R. A. Ferrare, R. N. Halthore, L. A. HeiIman, D. L. Hlavka, N. S. Laulainen, C.-J. Lin, J. A. Ogren, M. R. Poellot, L. A. Remer, K. Sassen, J. D. Spinhirne, M. E. Splitt, and D. D. Turner

Drought-stricken areas of Central America and Mexico were victimized in 1998 by forest and brush fires that burned out of control during much of the first half of the year. Wind currents at various times during the episode helped transport smoke from these fires over the Gulf of Mexico and into portions of the United States. Visibilities were greatly reduced during favorable flow periods from New Mexico to south Florida and northward to Wisconsin as a result of this smoke and haze. In response to the reduced visibilities and increased pollutants, public health advisories and information statements were issued by various agencies in Gulf Coast states and in Oklahoma.

This event was also detected by a unique array of instrumentation deployed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program Southern Great Plains Cloud and Radiation Testbed and by sensors of the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality/Air Quality Division. Observations from these measurement devices suggest elevated levels of aerosol loading and ozone concentrations during May 1998 when prevailing winds were favorable for the transport of the Central American smoke pall into Oklahoma and Kansas. In particular, aerosol extinction profiles derived from the ARM Raman lidar measurements revealed large variations in the vertical distribution of the smoke.

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