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Evaluation of the aerosol vertical distribution in global aerosol models through comparison against CALIOP measurements: AeroCom phase II results

Brigitte Koffi 1, * Michael Schulz 2 Francois-Marie Breon 3, 4, 5 Frank Dentener 1 Birthe Marie Steensen 2 Jan Griesfeller 2 David Winker 6 Yves Balkanski 3, 4, 5, 7 Susanne E. Bauer 8, 9 Nicolas Bellouin 10 Terje Berntsen 11, 12 Huisheng Bian 13, 14 Mian Chin 14 Thomas Diehl 1 Richard Easter 15 Steven Ghan 15 Didier A. Hauglustaine 3, 4, 5 Trond Iversen 11, 2 Alf Kirkevag Xiaohong Liu 16, 15 Ulrike Lohmann 17 Gunnar Myhre 12 Phil Rasch 14 Oyvind Seland 2 Ragnhild B. Skeie 12 Stephen D. Steenrod 14 Philip Stier 18 Jason Tackett 19 Toshihiko Takemura 20 Kostas Tsigaridis 9, 14 Maria Raffaella Vuolo 3, 4, 5 Jinho Yoon 21, 15 Kai Zhang 22, 15
Abstract : The ability of 11 models in simulating the aerosol vertical distribution from regional to global scales, as part of the second phase of the AeroCom model intercomparison initiative (AeroCom II), is assessed and compared to results of the first phase. The evaluation is performed using a global monthly gridded data set of aerosol extinction profiles built for this purpose from the CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization) Layer Product 3.01. Results over 12 subcontinental regions show that five models improved, whereas three degraded in reproducing the interregional variability in Z(alpha 0-6 km), the mean extinction height diagnostic, as computed from the CALIOP aerosol profiles over the 0-6 km altitude range for each studied region and season. While the models' performance remains highly variable, the simulation of the timing of the Z(alpha 0-6 km) peak season has also improved for all but two models from AeroCom Phase I to Phase II. The biases in Z(alpha 0-6 km) are smaller in all regions except Central Atlantic, East Asia, and North and South Africa. Most of the models now underestimate Z(alpha 0-6 km) over land, notably in the dust and biomass burning regions in Asia and Africa. At global scale, the AeroCom II models better reproduce the Z(alpha 0-6 km) latitudinal variability over ocean than over land. Hypotheses for the performance and evolution of the individual models and for the intermodel diversity are discussed. We also provide an analysis of the CALIOP limitations and uncertainties contributing to the differences between the simulations and observations.
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Brigitte Koffi, Michael Schulz, Francois-Marie Breon, Frank Dentener, Birthe Marie Steensen, et al.. Evaluation of the aerosol vertical distribution in global aerosol models through comparison against CALIOP measurements: AeroCom phase II results. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, American Geophysical Union, 2016, 121 (12), pp.7254 - 7283. ⟨10.1002/2015JD024639⟩. ⟨hal-01602797⟩



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