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Original Research Papers

Airborne in situ characterization of dry aerosol optical properties in a multisource influenced marine region

Authors:

Admir C. Targino ,

Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, SE
About Admir C.
On leave from Instituto de Computacíon, Facultad de Ingeniería, Montevideo, Uruguay.
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Elisabeth Öström

Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, SE
About Elisabeth

Now at: Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research, Meteorological Office, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 2SY, UK.

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Abstract

In situdata from the 2nd Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE-2) were used to describe the aerosol opticalproperties in a marine environment perturbed by continental sources, such as the outflow of European aerosol and dustoutbreaks from North Africa. The data consist of airborne measurements made with an integrating nephelometer andabsorption photometer.

The cases investigated in theACE-2 experiment included vertical profiles flown in dusty, polluted and clean airmasses.While it was possible to describe the extensive optical properties (scattering and absorption coefficients) for the cleancases in a more general way, the polluted and dusty cases showed much variability from case to case. The intensiveproperties (single-scattering albedo andA° ngstroöm exponent) showed little variability with height, in agreement withother studies. A key result in this paper is the strong relationship between single-scattering albedo and transport timefor the polluted cases.

Calculations of aerosol optical depth (AOD) made usingin situmeasurements showed that in the marine-dominatedairmasses the contribution from the free troposphere (FT) to the total columnar AOD is not negligible. In the pollutedcases, the marine boundary layer (MBL) dominated the contribution to the total AOD, when this was topped by a cleanFT. In the cases when pollution outbreak in the MBL was accompanied by a dusty FT, most of the columnar AOD wasdue to the dust layer.

Assessment of the horizontal variability of the aerosol field, achieved by employing the dry scattering coefficient asproxy data, showed that there was variability in the aerosol concentration at scales below the airmass scale in whichthe aerosol was embedded. This shows that the concept that the aerosol concentration varies horizontally at the samescale as the airmass can lead to significant errors in the aerosol modelling schemes, in particular on the estimates of theimpact of aerosols on the Earth’s radiative balance.

How to Cite: Targino, A.C. and Öström, E., 2005. Airborne in situ characterization of dry aerosol optical properties in a multisource influenced marine region. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 57(3), pp.247–260. DOI: http://doi.org/10.3402/tellusb.v57i3.16537
  Published on 01 Jan 2005
 Accepted on 27 Jan 2005            Submitted on 3 Feb 2004

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