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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-2
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-2
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 15 Jan 2019

Research article | 15 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Impact of Atmospheric and Aerosol Optical Depth Observations on Aerosol Initial Conditions in a strongly-coupled data assimilation system

Milija Zupanski1, Anton Kliewer1, Ting-Chi Wu1, Karina Apodaca1, Qijing Bian2, Sam Atwood2, Yi Wang3,4,5, Jun Wang3,4,5, and Steven D. Miller1 Milija Zupanski et al.
  • 1Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • 2Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado USA
  • 3Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA USA
  • 4Center of Global and Regional Environmental Research, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA USA
  • 5Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Informatics, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA USA

Abstract. Strongly coupled data assimilation frameworks provide a mechanism for including additional information about aerosols through the coupling between aerosol and atmospheric variables, effectively utilizing atmospheric observations to change the aerosol analysis. Here, we investigate the impact of these observations on aerosol using the Maximum Likelihood Ensemble Filter (MLEF) algorithm with Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) which includes the Godard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport (GOCART) module. We apply this methodology to a dust storm event over the Arabian Peninsula and examine in detail the error covariance and in particular the impact of atmospheric observations on improving the aerosol initial conditions. The assimilated observations include conventional atmospheric observations and Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) retrievals. Results indicate a positive impact of using strongly coupled data assimilation and atmospheric observations on the aerosol initial conditions, quantified using Degrees of Freedom for Signal.

Milija Zupanski et al.
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Status: open (until 18 Mar 2019)
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Milija Zupanski et al.
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Latest update: 17 Feb 2019
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Short summary
The problem of under-observed aerosol observations and in particular the vertical distribution of aerosols is addressed using a strongly coupled atmosphere-aerosol data assimilation system. In the strongly coupled system the atmospheric observations, which are more numerous in general, can impact the aerosol initial conditions. In an application over a coastal zone, results indicate that atmospheric observations have a positive impact on aerosols.
The problem of under-observed aerosol observations and in particular the vertical distribution...
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