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Aerosol optical properties over Europe: an evaluation of the AQMEII Phase 3 simulations against satellite observations

pubblicazioni - Articolo

Aerosol optical properties over Europe: an evaluation of the AQMEII Phase 3 simulations against satellite observations

Lo scopo di questo lavoro è quello di valutare la rappresentatività dell’Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) e del coefficiente di Ångström nell’ambito dell’iniziativa AQMEII sull’intero dominio Europeo. La valutazione è stata fatta con i dati ricavati dal sensore MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) a bordo delle piattaforme Aqua e Terra.

The main uncertainties in estimates of changes in the Earth’s energy budget are related to the role of atmospheric aerosols. These changes are caused mainly by aerosol-radiation (ARI) and aerosol-cloud interactions (ACI), which heavily depend on aerosol properties. From the 1980s, many international modelling initiatives have studied atmospheric aerosols and their climate effects. Phase 3 of the Air Quality Model Evaluation International Initiative (AQMEII) focuses on evaluating and intercomparing regional and linked global/regional modelling systems by collaborating with the Task Force on the Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution Phase 2 (HTAP2) initiative. Within this framework, the main aim of this work was to evaluate the representation of aerosol optical depth (AOD) and the Ångström exponent (AE) by the AQMEII Phase 3 simulations over Europe. The evaluation was made using satellite data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors on board the Terra and Aqua platforms. The results indicated that the skills of AQMEII simulations in the AOD representation produced fewer errors than in the AE. Regardless of the models and emissions used, models were skillful at representing the low and medium AOD values observed (below 0.5). However, high values (close to 1.0) were underestimated for biomass burning episodes, and were overestimated for desert dust contributions, related mainly to emission and boundary conditions. Despite this behavior, the spatial and temporal variability of this variable was well-represented by all the models. Generally, the AE evaluation showed more serious errors than the AOD evaluation. Moreover, the observed variability of this parameter was strongly underestimated in all the simulations.

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