North Atlantic Aerosol Properties and Direct Radiative Effects: Key Results from TARFOX and ACE-2
Russell, P. B.
Livingston, J. M.
Bergstrom, R. A.
Hobbs, P. V.
Durkee, P. A.
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Aerosol effects on atmospheric radiative fluxes provide a forcing function that can change the climate in potentially significant ways. This aerosol radiative Forcing is a major source of uncertainty in understanding the observed climate change of the past century and in predicting, future climate. To help reduce this uncertainty, the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project (IGAC) has endorsed a series of multiplatform aerosol field campaigns. The Tropospheric Aerosol Radiative Forcing Observational Experiment (TARFOX) and the second Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE-2) were the first IGAC campaigns to address the impact of anthropogenic aerosols. Both TARFOX and ACE-2 gathered extensive data sets on aerosol properties and radiative effects. TARFOX focused on the urban-industrial haze plume flowing from the eastern United States over the western Atlantic Ocean, whereas ACE-2 studied aerosols carried over the eastern Atlantic from both European urban/industrial and African mineral sources. These aerosols often have a marked influence on the top-of-atmosphere radiances measured by satellites, as illustrated in Figure 1. Shown there are contours of aerosol optical depth derived from radiances measured by the AVHRR sensor on the NOAA-11 satellite. The contours readily show that aerosols originating in North America, Europe, and Africa impact the radiative properties of air over the North Atlantic. However, the accurate derivation of flux chances, or radiative forcing, from the satellite-measured radiances or 'etrieved optical depths remains a difficult challenge. In this paper we summarize key Initial results from TARFOX and, to a lesser extent ACE-2, with a focus on those results that allow an improved assessment of the flux changes caused by North Atlantic aerosols at middle and high latitudes.
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