Implications of the Temporal Resolution of Fire Emissions on Direct and Indirect Aerosol Effects

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 9:15 AM
Anton Darmenov1, Donifan Barahona1, Kyu-Myong Kim1, Arlindo da Silva1, Peter Richard Colarco1 and Ravi Govindaraju1,2, (1)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (2)Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Lanham, MD, United States
Biomass burning is an important source of particulates and trace gases and a major element of the terrestrial carbon cycle. Well constrained emissions from open vegetation fires in both time and space are needed to model direct and indirect effect of biomass burning aerosols, homogeneous and heterogeneous chemistry in the atmosphere and perform credible integrated earth system analysis, climate and air pollution studies. However representing fires in regional and global numerical models is challenging because of the subgrid scales at which fire processes operate. An example of apparent discrepancy in scales is the use of monthly- or seasonal-mean fire emissions which given the stochastic nature of fires means that at certain spatial scales the temporal behavior of emissions becomes influenced by individual fire events and becomes more variable. The present study aims at investigating the impact of monthly-mean fire emissions on direct and indirect aerosol effects. Key element of our work is the use of fire radiative power (FRP) based emissions and a global fully interactive cloud-aerosol-radiation modeling system.
We used the Goddard Earth Observing System Model, Version 5 (GEOS-5) with two moment cloud microphysics and explicit cloud droplet activation and ice nucleation. GEOS-5 is coupled with an online version of the Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport (GOCART) model. Biomass burning emissions used in this study are from the Quick Fire Emission Dataset (QFED) available daily at up to 0.1 degrees horizontal resolution. We performed experiments with daily-mean and monthly-mean QFED emissions at two degree horizontal resolutions and report differences in aerosol burden and radiative forcing, for example we found that regional differences of clear-sky aerosol direct radiative effect at the surface and at the top of the atmosphere in MAM and JJA can be as high as 4 Wm-2 and 3 Wm-2, respectively.