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