Articles | Volume 17, issue 15
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 9677–9696, 2017

Special issue: Coupled chemistry–meteorology modelling: status and...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 9677–9696, 2017

Research article 11 Aug 2017

Research article | 11 Aug 2017

Regional effects of atmospheric aerosols on temperature: an evaluation of an ensemble of online coupled models

Rocío Baró1,2, Laura Palacios-Peña1, Alexander Baklanov3, Alessandra Balzarini4, Dominik Brunner5, Renate Forkel6, Marcus Hirtl2, Luka Honzak7, Juan Luis Pérez8, Guido Pirovano3, Roberto San José8, Wolfram Schröder9, Johannes Werhahn5, Ralf Wolke9, Rahela Žabkar10, and Pedro Jiménez-Guerrero1 Rocío Baró et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, Regional Campus of International Excellence Campus Mare Nostrum, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain
  • 2Section Chemical Weather Forecasts, Division Data/Methods/Modelling, ZAMG – Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, Vienna, Austria
  • 3World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 4Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico (RSE), Milano, Italy
  • 5Laboratory for Air Pollution/Environmental Technology, Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland
  • 6Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung, Atmosphärische Umweltforschung (IMK-IFU), Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 7BO-MO d.o.o, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 8Environmental Software and Modelling Group, Computer Science School – Technical University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 9Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Permoserstr, Leipzig, Germany
  • 10Slovenian Environment Agency, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Abstract. The climate effect of atmospheric aerosols is associated with their influence on the radiative budget of the Earth due to the direct aerosol–radiation interactions (ARIs) and indirect effects, resulting from aerosol–cloud–radiation interactions (ACIs). Online coupled meteorology–chemistry models permit the description of these effects on the basis of simulated atmospheric aerosol concentrations, although there is still some uncertainty associated with the use of these models. Thus, the objective of this work is to assess whether the inclusion of atmospheric aerosol radiative feedbacks of an ensemble of online coupled models improves the simulation results for maximum, mean and minimum temperature at 2 m over Europe. The evaluated models outputs originate from EuMetChem COST Action ES1004 simulations for Europe, differing in the inclusion (or omission) of ARI and ACI in the various models. The cases studies cover two important atmospheric aerosol episodes over Europe in the year 2010: (i) a heat wave event and a forest fire episode (July–August 2010) and (ii) a more humid episode including a Saharan desert dust outbreak in October 2010. The simulation results are evaluated against observational data from the E-OBS gridded database. The results indicate that, although there is only a slight improvement in the bias of the simulation results when including the radiative feedbacks, the spatiotemporal variability and correlation coefficients are improved for the cases under study when atmospheric aerosol radiative effects are included.

Short summary
The influence on modeled max., mean and min. temperature over Europe of including aerosol–radiation–cloud interactions has been assessed for two case studies in 2010. Data were taken from an ensemble of online regional chemistry–climate models from EuMetChem COST Action. The results indicate that including these interactions clearly improves the spatiotemporal variability in the temperature signal simulated by the models, with implications for reducing the uncertainty in climate projections.
Final-revised paper