92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Monday, 23 January 2012: 1:45 PM
Observing and Understanding the Southeast Asian Aerosol Environment: A Survey of Remote Sensing Tools for the 7 Southeast Asian Studies (7SEAS) Program (invited)
Room 257 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Jeffrey S. Reid, NRL, ,Monterey, CA; and R. S. Johnson, E. J. Hyer, J. Zhang, J. R. Campbell, S. A. Christopher, L. Di Girolamo, L. Giglio, J. P. Hoffman, B. Holben, R. Holz, A. P. Kuciauskas, S. C. Liew, J. Miettinen, F. J. Turk, J. Wang, E. J. Welton, and P. Xian

Over the last several decades the region extending from Java though the Malay Peninsula and Southeast Asia to Taiwan has seen massive economic growth. Consequently, air pollution levels have risen dramatically. At the same time, biomass burning has attracted attention as a region-wide problem, further reducing air quality and visibility. Even so, at times this region exhibits some of the lowest concentrations of lower troposphere aerosol particles in the world. These sharp gradients present an excellent natural laboratory for studying aerosol, atmosphere, land, and ocean feedbacks in tropical to sub-tropical ecosystems. With high cloud cover, shallow waters, and mosaic landscapes, SE Asia also presents one of the most challenging observing environments in the world. Aerosol, cloud, precipitation and land surface products all struggle with the environment. In this talk we give an overview of the observing strategy of the 7 Southeast Asian Studies (7SEAS) research program to understand aerosol, atmosphere, land, and ocean interaction. This is performed in a grass roots fashion with an emphasis on remote sensing verification and interpretation studies. We show how experimental satellite sensors, operational meteorological satellite sensors, and high-resolution mapping sensorsprovide different pieces of the puzzle (e.g., fire, pollution, transport, hydrology, etc.). Because errors from these different products often co-vary, how one puts these puzzle pieces together can result in vastly different quantitative pictures of aerosol-meteorology relationships. One strategy is through data assimilation, but this requires solid product characterization. We discuss outstanding challenges in this regard.

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