Evaluation of Hindcast Global and Regional Simulations of Aerosol Property Profiles during the Two Column Aerosol Project (TCAP)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Kai Zhang1, Jerome D Fast1, Larry K Berg1, Philip J Rasch1, Richard C Easter1, Hailong Wang1, Po-Lun Ma1, Duli Chand1, Richard Anthony Ferrare2, Connor Joseph Flynn1, Chris A Hostetler2, Arthur J Sedlacek III3, John E Shilling1, Jason M Tomlinson1 and Alla Zelenyuk1, (1)Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, United States, (2)NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States, (3)Brookhaven National Lab, Upton, NY, United States
Although the aerosol life cycle and its interaction with clouds are explicitly represented in many modern climate models, predictions of vertical distributions in aerosol mass concentration, composition, size, and optical properties still have relatively large uncertainties that consequently affect estimates of aerosol radiative forcing. The region near the east coast of North America is one area where aerosol-climate models have a large diversity. Motivated by this problem, the Two-Column Aerosol Project (TCAP) supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program collected intensive field campaign measurements in July 2012 and Feb 2013 at a column over Cape Cod and a second column located ~200 km to the east over the ocean. DOE’s ARM Aerial Facility G-1 aircraft collected in situ measurements of aerosol mass, composition, size, and optical properties. The aerosol mixing state was estimated based on measurements from a single particle mass spectrometer. TCAP was the first science mission for the NASA Sky-Scanning, Sun-Tracking Atmospheric Research (4STAR) spectrometer deployed on the G-1 and the second generation downward-looking High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL-2) deployed on the NASA B-200 aircraft. On many days, the aircraft measurements show one or more aerosol layers in the free troposphere above the residual and marine boundary layers.

In this study, we perform hindcast simulations with both the global model CAM5 and the regional model WRF-Chem, using either low- or high- temporal-resolution emission data over North America. In-situ and remote sensing data collected from TCAP are used to evaluate the model simulations. We will discuss the impact of a) individual sources (anthropogenic, biogenic, and biomass burning), b) model horizontal/vertical resolutions, and c) biases in simulated meteorological conditions on the simulated aerosol properties and the direct aerosol forcing. Particular attention will be given to observed and simulated vertical profiles of black carbon (BC), coating of BC, and the impact of BC on vertical variability in radiative forcing. Similarities and differences between the global and regional model simulations will also be discussed.