1.4 Constraining Sea Spray Aerosol Productivity with Satellite Observations

Monday, 15 August 2016: 11:30 AM
Lecture Hall (Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center)
Marcin L. Witek, JPL, Pasadena, CA; and D. J. Diner and M. Garay

Despite many years of observations by multiple sensors, there is still substantial ambiguity regarding aerosol optical depths (AOD) over remote oceans, in particular over the pristine Southern Ocean. Passive satellite retrievals (e.g., MISR, MODIS) and global aerosol transport models show a distinct AOD maximum around the 60°S latitude band. Sunphotometer measurements performed by the Marine Aerosol Network (MAN), on the other hand, indicate no increased AODs over the Southern Ocean. In this study elevated Southern Ocean AODs are examined from the modeling perspective. The primary aerosol component over the Southern Ocean is sea spray aerosol (SSA). Multiple simulations of SSA concentrations and optical depths are carried out using a single modeling framework, the Navy Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System (NAAPS) model. Several SSA emission functions are examined, including recently proposed formulations with sea surface temperature corrections. The differences between NAAPS simulations are primarily due to different SSA emission formulations. The results are compared against satellite-derived AODs from the MISR and MODIS instruments. MISR and MODIS AOD retrievals are further filtered to eliminate retrievals potentially affected by cloud contamination and cloud adjacency effects. The results indicate a very large impact of SSA emission parameterization on the simulated AODs. For some scenarios, the Southern Ocean AOD maximum almost completely disappears. Further MISR and MODIS AOD quality screening substantially improves model/satellite agreement. Based on these comparisons an optimal SSA emission function for global aerosol transport models is recommended.
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