Articles | Volume 8, issue 22
28 Nov 2008
 | 28 Nov 2008

Radiative budget in the presence of multi-layered aerosol structures in the framework of AMMA SOP-0

J.-C. Raut and P. Chazette

Abstract. This paper presents radiative transfer calculations performed over Niamey in the UV-Visible range over the period 26th January–1st February 2006 during the African Multidisciplinary Monsoon Analysis (AMMA) international program. Climatic effects of aerosols along the vertical column have required an accurate determination of their optical properties, which are presented here for a variety of instrumented platforms: Ultralight aircraft, Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM) research aircraft, AERONET station. Measurements highlighted the presence of a multi-layered structure of mineral dust located below and biomass-burning particles in the more elevated layers. Radiative forcing was affected by both the scattering and absorption effects governed by the aerosol complex refractive index (ACRI). The best agreement between our results and AERONET optical thicknesses, ground-based extinction measurements and NO2 photolysis rate coefficient was found using the synergy between all the instrumented platforms. The corresponding averaged ACRI at 355 nm were 1.53 (±0.04) −0.047i (±0.006) and 1.52 (±0.04) −0.008i (±0.001) for biomass-burning and mineral dust aerosols, respectively. Biomass-burning aerosols were characterized by single-scattering albedo ranging from 0.78 to 0.82 and asymmetry parameter ranging from 0.71 to 0.73. For dust aerosols, single-scattering albedo (asymmetry parameter) ranged from 0.9 to 0.92 (0.73 to 0.75). The solar energy depletion at the surface is shown to be ~−21.2 (±1.7) W/m2 as a daily average. At the TOA, the radiative forcing appeared slightly negative but very close to zero (~−1.4 W/m2). The corresponding atmospheric radiative forcing was found to be ~19.8 (±2.3) W/m2. Mineral dust located below a more absorbing layer act as an increase in surface reflectivity of ~3–4%. The radiative forcing is also shown to be highly sensitive to the optical features of the different aerosol layers (ACRI, optical thickness and aerosol vertical distribution).

Final-revised paper