Summertime Aerosol Radiative Effects and Their Dependence on Temperature over the Southeastern USA
journal contributionposted on 10.10.2018, 14:09 by Tero Mielonen, Anca Hienola, Thomas Kühn, Joonas Merikanto, Antti Lipponen, Tommi Bergman, Hannele Korhonen, Pekka Kolmonen, Larisa Sogacheva, Darren Ghent, Mikko R. A. Pitkänen, Antti Arola, Gerrit de Leeuw, Harri Kokkola
Satellite data suggest that summertime aerosol optical depth (AOD) over the southeastern USA depends on the air/land surface temperature, but the magnitude of the radiative effects caused by this dependence remains unclear. To quantify these radiative effects, we utilized several remote sensing datasets and ECMWF reanalysis data for the years 2005–2011. In addition, the global aerosol–climate model ECHAM-HAMMOZ was used to identify the possible processes affecting aerosol loads and their dependence on temperature over the studied region. The satellite-based observations suggest that changes in the total summertime AOD in the southeastern USA are mainly governed by changes in anthropogenic emissions. In addition, summertime AOD exhibits a dependence on southerly wind speed and land surface temperature (LST). Transport of sea salt and Saharan dust is the likely reason for the wind speed dependence, whereas the temperature-dependent component is linked to temperature-induced changes in the emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) over forested regions. The remote sensing datasets indicate that the biogenic contribution increases AOD with increasing temperature by approximately (7 ± 6) × 10−3 K−1 over the southeastern USA. In the model simulations, the increase in summertime AOD due to temperature-enhanced BVOC emissions is of a similar magnitude, i.e., (4 ± 1) × 10−3 K−1. The largest source of BVOC emissions in this region is broadleaf trees, thus if the observed temperature dependence of AOD is caused by biogenic emissions the dependence should be the largest in the vicinity of forests. Consequently, the analysis of the remote sensing data shows that over mixed forests the biogenic contribution increases AOD by approximately (27 ± 13) × 10−3 K−1, which is over four times higher than the value for over the whole domain, while over other land cover types in the study region (woody savannas and cropland/natural mosaic) there is no clear temperature dependence. The corresponding clear-sky direct radiative effect (DRE) of the observation-based biogenic AOD is −0.33 ± 0.29 W/m2/K for the whole domain and −1.3 ± 0.7 W/m2/K over mixed forests only. The model estimate of the regional clear-sky DRE for biogenic aerosols is similar to the observational estimate for the whole domain: −0.29 ± 0.09 W/m2/K. Furthermore, the model simulations showed that biogenic emissions have a significant effective radiative forcing (ERF) in this region: −1.0 ± 0.5 W/m2/K.