COMPARING A RANGE OF SIMPLE PLUME RISE MODELS AND MISR AEROSOL HEIGHT MEASUREMENTS
Rapid economic development leads to increasing sources of aerosols from both urban and biomass sources, which in turn have a significant impact on the atmosphere and the environment. There are significant differences however between urban sources, which tend to be emitted at low temperature, and biomass sources, which are co-emitted with a significant amount of heat. In this work, we first analyse the spatial and temporal distribution of aerosol height from 3.5 years of day-by-day global measurements of aerosol plume height from MISR from January 2008 through June of 2011. We next use a simple plume rise model (PRM) based on FRP and various meteorological variables both from MISR and from other data sources. We find that the PRM makes a reasonable reproduction of the MISR measurements in Western Siberia, Alaska, Central Canada, Argentina, and Eastern Europe, although it underestimates the MISR measurements everywhere. We compute the amount of aerosol above the boundary layer as well as its distribution, and find that the PRM can only come close to reproducing this in conditions which are dry and found in extra-tropical regions. In specific we find that there is a slight model improvement when we apply factors to the wind speed. In general, we find the results are optimized when wind speed is adjusted by 20% around the given mean value, and the vertical velocity is adjusted by −20% to +40% of the original value. The best fitting region, Argentina, is obtained with an RMS error (model biased low) of 0.39 km, when the horizontal wind is unadjusted and the vertical wind is adjusted by −20%. We further find that the PRM approach is not applicable over those regions which have the highest magnitude of aerosol emissions, as detected by OMI and MOPITT measurements of NO2 and CO respectively, leading to future plans on how to correct for and improve this approach.