Simulation of aerosol optical properties over Europe with a 3-D size-resolved aerosol model: comparisons with AERONET data
Abstract. This paper aims at presenting a model-to-data comparison of the Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) and of a few sparse data for Single Scattering Albedo (SSA) over Europe for one year. The main contribution of this paper is the sensitivity study to a large number of parameters, including physical and numerical parameters of the aerosol model itself. The optical parameters are computed from a size-resolved aerosol model embedded in the Polyphemus system. The methodology is first described, showing that several hypothesis can be made for micro-physical aerosol properties. The simulation is made over one year (2001); statistics and monthly time series for the simulation and AERONET data are used to evaluate the ability of the model to reproduce AOT and vertically averaged SSA fields and their variability. The relation with the uncertainties of measurements is discussed. Then a sensitivity study with respect to the mixing state of the particle, the way to take into account water uptake, numerical parameters and physical parameterizations of the model is carried out. The results indicate that the mixing state of particles has an influence on optical parameters, as well as the computation of the wet diameter. But some physical and numerical parameters associated with the aerosol model itself have even more influence under certain conditions, through the uncertainties on the aerosol chemical composition, and their size distribution.