Aerosol data assimilation in the MOCAGE chemical transport model during the TRAQA/ChArMEx campaign: lidar observations

El Amraoui, Laaziz ; Sic, Bojan ; Piacentini, Andrea ; Marécal, Virginie ; Frebourg, Nicolas ; Attié, Jean-Luc

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<p align=justify>This paper presents the first results about the assimilation of CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization) extinction coefficient measurements onboard the CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) satellite in the MOCAGE (MOdèle de Chimie Atmosphérique à Grande Echelle) chemistry transport model of Météo-France. This assimilation module is an extension of the aerosol optical depth (<span class="inline-formula">AOD</span>) assimilation system already presented by <span class="cit" id="xref_text.1"><a href="#bib1.bibx71">Sic et al.</a> (<a href="#bib1.bibx71">2016</a>)</span>. We focus on the period of the TRAQA (TRAnsport à longue distance et Qualité de l'Air dans le bassin méditerranéen) field campaign that took place during summer 2012. This period offers the opportunity to have access to a large set of aerosol observations from instrumented aircraft, balloons, satellite and ground-based stations. We evaluate the added value of CALIOP assimilation with respect to the model free run by comparing both fields to independent observations issued from the TRAQA field campaign.</p> <p>In this study we focus on the desert dust outbreak which happened during late June 2012 over the Mediterranean Basin (MB) during the TRAQA campaign. The comparison with the AERONET (Aerosol Robotic Network) <span class="inline-formula">AOD</span> measurements shows that the assimilation of CALIOP lidar observations improves the statistics compared to the model free run. The correlation between AERONET and the model (assimilation) is 0.682 (0.753); the bias and the root mean square error (RMSE), due to CALIOP assimilation, are reduced from <span class="inline-formula">?0.063</span> to 0.048 and from 0.183 to 0.148, respectively.</p> <p>Compared to MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) <span class="inline-formula">AOD</span> observations, the model free run shows an underestimation of the AOD values, whereas the CALIOP assimilation corrects this underestimation and shows a quantitative good improvement in terms of <span class="inline-formula">AOD</span> maps over the MB. The correlation between MODIS and the model (assimilation) during the dust outbreak is 0.47 (0.52), whereas the bias is <span class="inline-formula">?0.18</span> (<span class="inline-formula">?0.02</span>) and the RMSE is 0.36 (0.30).</p> <p>The comparison of in situ aircraft and balloon measurements to both modelled and assimilated outputs shows that the CALIOP lidar assimilation highly improves the model aerosol field. The evaluation with the LOAC (Light Optical Particle Counter) measurements indicates that the aerosol vertical profiles are well simulated by the direct model but with a general underestimation of the aerosol number concentration, especially in the altitude range 2-5 <span class="inline-formula">km</span>. The CALIOP assimilation improves these results by a factor of 2.5 to 5.</p> <p>Analysis of the vertical distribution of the desert aerosol concentration shows that the aerosol dust transport event is well captured by the model but with an underestimated intensity. The assimilation of CALIOP observations allows the improvement of the geographical representation of the event within the model as well as its intensity by a factor of 2 in the altitude range 1-5 <span class="inline-formula">km</span>.</p>
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