Modeling radiative and climatic effects of brown carbon aerosols with the ARPEGE-Climat global climate model

Drugé, Thomas ; Nabat, Pierre ; Mallet, Marc ; Michou, Martine ; Rémy, Samuel ; Dubovik, Oleg

Année de publication
<p align=justify>Organic aerosols are predominantly emitted from biomass burning and biofuel use. The fraction of these aerosols that strongly absorbs ultraviolet and short visible light is referred to as brown carbon (BrC). The life cycle and the optical properties of BrC are still highly uncertain, thus contributing to the uncertainty of the total aerosol radiative effect. This study presents the implementation of BrC aerosols in the Tropospheric Aerosols for ClimaTe In CNRM (TACTIC) aerosol scheme of the atmospheric component of the Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques (CNRM) climate model. This implementation has been achieved using a BrC parameterization based on the optical properties of Saleh et al. (2014). Several simulations have been carried out with the CNRM global climate model, over the period of 2000-2014, to analyze the BrC radiative and climatic effects. Model evaluation has been carried out by comparing numerical results of single-scattering albedo (SSA), aerosol optical depth (AOD), and absorption aerosol optical depth (AAOD) to data provided by Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) stations, at the local scale, and by different satellite products, at the global scale. The implementation of BrC and its bleaching parameterization has resulted in an improvement of the estimation of the total SSA and AAOD at 350 and 440 nm. This improvement is observed at both the local scale, for several locations of AERONET stations, and the regional scale, over regions of Africa (AFR) and South America (AME), where large quantities of biomass burning aerosols are emitted. The annual global BrC effective radiative forcing (all-sky conditions) has been calculated in terms of both aerosol-radiation interactions (ERFari, 0.029 ± 0.006 W m−2) and aerosol-cloud interactions (ERFaci, −0.024 ± 0.066 W m−2). This study shows, on an annual average, positive values of ERFari of 0.292 ± 0.034 and 0.085 ± 0.032 W m−2 over the AFR and AME regions, respectively, which is in accordance with the BrC radiative effect calculated in previous studies. This work also reveals that the inclusion of BrC in the TACTIC aerosol scheme causes a statistically significant low-level cloud fraction increase over the southeastern Atlantic Ocean during the burning season partially caused by a vertical velocity decrease at 700 hPa (semi-direct aerosol effect). Lastly, this study also highlights that the low-level cloud fraction changes, associated with more absorbing biomass burning aerosols, contribute to an increase in both solar heating rate and air temperature at 700 hPa over this region.</p>
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