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Atmosphere 2018, 9(7), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9070271

Assessment of Aerosol Radiative Forcing with 1-D Radiative Transfer Modeling in the U. S. South-East

1
Langley Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Hampton, VA 23681, USA
2
Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 June 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 11 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiative Transfer in the Earth Atmosphere)
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Abstract

Aerosols and their radiative properties play an integral part in understanding Earth’s climate. It is becoming increasingly common to examine aerosol’s radiative impacts on a regional scale. The primary goal of this research is to explore the impacts of regional aerosol’s forcing at the surface and top-of-atmosphere (TOA) in the south-eastern U.S. by using a 1-D radiative transfer model. By using test cases that are representative of conditions common to this region, an estimate of aerosol forcing can be compared to other results. Speciation data and aerosol layer analysis provide the basis for the modeling. Results indicate that the region experiences TOA cooling year-round, where the winter has TOA forcings between −2.8 and −5 W/m2, and the summer has forcings between −5 and −15 W/m2 for typical atmospheric conditions. Surface level forcing efficiencies are greater than those estimated for the TOA for all cases considered i.e., urban and non-urban background conditions. One potential implication of this research is that regional aerosol mixtures have effects that are not well captured in global climate model estimates, which has implications for a warming climate where all radiative inputs are not well characterized, thus increasing the ambiguity in determining regional climate impacts. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerosols; radiative forcing efficiency; Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder (CALIPSO); Santa Barbara Disort Atmospheric Radiative Transfer (SBDART); climate; biomass burning; radiative effects aerosols; radiative forcing efficiency; Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder (CALIPSO); Santa Barbara Disort Atmospheric Radiative Transfer (SBDART); climate; biomass burning; radiative effects
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Alston, E.J.; Sokolik, I.N. Assessment of Aerosol Radiative Forcing with 1-D Radiative Transfer Modeling in the U. S. South-East. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 271.

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