Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 24847-24893, 2012
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/12/24847/2012/
doi:10.5194/acpd-12-24847-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review Status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
The global 3-D distribution of tropospheric aerosols as characterized by CALIOP
D. M. Winker1, J. L. Tackett2, B. J. Getzewich2, Z. Liu2, M. A. Vaughan1, and R. R. Rogers1
1NASA Langley Research Center, MS/475,Hampton, VA, USA
2SSAI, Hampton, VA, c/o NASA LaRC, MS/475, USA

Abstract. The CALIOP lidar, carried on the CALIPSO satellite, has been acquiring global atmospheric profiles since June 2006. This dataset now offers the opportunity to characterize the global 3-D distribution of aerosol as well as seasonal and interannual variations, and confront aerosol models with observations in a way that has not been possible before. With that goal in mind, a monthly global gridded dataset of daytime and nighttime aerosol extinction profiles has been constructed. Averaged aerosol profiles for cloud-free and all-sky conditions are reported separately. This 6-yr dataset characterizes the global 3-dimensional distribution of tropospheric aerosol. Vertical distributions are seen to vary with season, as both source strengths and transport mechanisms vary. In most regions, clear-sky and all-sky mean aerosol profiles are found to be quite similar, implying a lack of correlation between high semi-transparent cloud and aerosol in the lower troposphere. An initial evaluation of the accuracy of the aerosol extinction profiles is presented. Detection limitations and the representivity of aerosol profiles in the upper troposphere are of particular concern. While results are preliminary, we present evidence that the monthly-mean gridded CALIOP aerosol profiles are representative for aerosol extinction greater than about 0.001 km−1 and up to an altitude of 4–6 km in most cases. The work described here forms an initial global 3-D aerosol climatology which hopefully will be extended and improved over time.

Citation: Winker, D. M., Tackett, J. L., Getzewich, B. J., Liu, Z., Vaughan, M. A., and Rogers, R. R.: The global 3-D distribution of tropospheric aerosols as characterized by CALIOP, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 24847-24893, doi:10.5194/acpd-12-24847-2012, 2012.
 
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