Constraining the relationships between aerosol height, aerosol optical depth and total column trace gas measurements using remote sensing and models

Wang, Shuo; Cohen, Jason Blake; Lin, Chuyong; Deng, Weizhi

Proper quantification of the aerosol vertical height is essential to constrain the atmospheric distribution and lifetime of aerosols, as well as their impact on the environment. We use globally distributed, daily averaged measurements of aerosol stereo heights of fire aerosols from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) to understand the aerosol distribution. We also connect these results with a simple plume rise model and a new multi-linear regression model approach based on daily measurements of inline-formulaNO2 from OMI and inline-formulaCO from MOPITT to understand and model the global aerosol vertical height profile over biomass burning regions. First, plumes associated with the local dry-burning season at midlatitudes to high latitudes frequently have a substantial fraction lofted into the free troposphere and in some cases even the stratosphere. Second, plumes mainly associated with less-polluted regions in developing countries and heavily forested areas tend to stay closer to the ground, although they are not always uniformly distributed throughout the boundary layer. Third, plumes associated with more serious loadings of pollution (such as in Africa, Southeast Asia and northeast China) tend to have a substantial amount of smoke transported uniformly through the planetary boundary layer and up to around 3‚ÄČkm. Fourth, the regression model approach yields a better ability to reproduce the measured heights compared to the plume rise model approach. This improvement is based on a removal of the negative bias observed from the plume model approach, as well as a better ability to work under more heavily polluted conditions. However, over many regions, both approaches fail, requiring deeper work to understand the physical, chemical and dynamical reasons underlying the failure over these regions.

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Wang, Shuo / Cohen, Jason Blake / Lin, Chuyong / et al: Constraining the relationships between aerosol height, aerosol optical depth and total column trace gas measurements using remote sensing and models. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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