Status: this preprint was under review for the journal ACP but the revision was not accepted.
Defining aerosol layer height for UVAI interpretation using aerosol vertical distributions characterized by MERRA-2
Jiyunting Sun,J. Pepijn Veefkind,Peter van Velthoven,L. Gijsbert Tilstra,Julien Chimot,Swadhin Nanda,and Pieternel F. Levelt
Abstract. Aerosol vertical distributions are important for aerosol radiative forcing assessments and atmospheric remote sensing research. From our perspective, the aerosol layer height (ALH) is one of the major concerns in quantifying aerosol absorption from the ultra-violet aerosol index (UVAI). The UVAI has a global daily record since 1978, whereas a corresponding ALH data set is still limited. In this paper, we attempted to construct such an ALH data set from aerosol extinction profiles provided by the MERRA-2 aerosol reanalysis, meanwhile we evaluated them, together with several satellite ALH products in terms of the UVAI sensitivity to ALH. In the first part of this paper, we derived ALHs from the MERRA-2 aerosol profiles by four definitions. Through the sensitivity studies, we found that the definition of top boundary aerosol layer height (Haert) is more robust to the changes in extinction profile properties than others. The spatial and temporal variation of Haert are also well associated with the major aerosol sources and the atmospheric dynamics. In the second part, we further evaluated the UVAI altitude dependence on the MERRA-2 ALH as well as several satellite ALH. Among all the satellite ALH products in this paper, the correlation between the TROPOMI oxygen (O2) A-band ALH and UVAI, and that between the GOME-2 absorbing aerosol layer height (AAH) and UVAI are in agreement with our a-priori knowledge that the altitude dependence of UVAI increases with aerosol loadings. The correlation between the MERRA-2 Haert and UVAI also matches well with what we found from observational data sets. This implies the top boundary of the aerosol layer derived from MERRA-2 can be an alternative in case there is no observational ALH data available for quantitively aerosol absorption from UVAI and other UVAI-related applications.
How to cite. Sun, J., Veefkind, J. P., van Velthoven, P., Tilstra, L. G., Chimot, J., Nanda, S., and Levelt, P. F.: Defining aerosol layer height for UVAI interpretation using aerosol vertical distributions characterized by MERRA-2, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-39, 2020.
Received: 15 Jan 2020 – Discussion started: 25 Feb 2020
ALH is one of the major concerns in quantifying aerosol absorption from the ultra-violet aerosol index (UVAI). The UVAI has a global daily record since 1978, whereas a corresponding ALH data set is limited. In this paper, we attempt to construct a global long-term ALH data set derived from the MERRA-2 aerosol fields that can be favorable in interpreting aerosol absorption from UVAI. We also give comments on several satellite ALH products in terms of the UVAI altitude dependence.
ALH is one of the major concerns in quantifying aerosol absorption from the ultra-violet aerosol...