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Intercomparison of shortwave radiative transfer schemes in global aerosol modeling: results from the AeroCom Radiative Transfer Experiment

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Randles, C. A., Kinne, S., Myhre, G., Schulz, M., Stier, P., Fischer, J., Doppler, L., Highwood, E., Ryder, C., Harris, B., Huttunen, J., Ma, Y., Pinker, R. T., Mayer, B., Neubauer, D., Hitzenberger, R., Oreopoulos, L., Lee, D., Pitari, G., Di Genova, G., Quaas, J., Rose, F. G., Kato, S., Rumbold, S. T., Vardavas, I., Hatzianastassiou, N., Matsoukas, C., Yu, H., Zhang, F., Zhang, H. and Lu, P. (2013) Intercomparison of shortwave radiative transfer schemes in global aerosol modeling: results from the AeroCom Radiative Transfer Experiment. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 13 (5). pp. 2347-2379. ISSN 1680-7316

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To link to this article DOI: 10.5194/acp-13-2347-2013

Abstract/Summary

In this study we examine the performance of 31 global model radiative transfer schemes in cloud-free conditions with prescribed gaseous absorbers and no aerosols (Rayleigh atmosphere), with prescribed scattering-only aerosols, and with more absorbing aerosols. Results are compared to benchmark results from high-resolution, multi-angular line-by-line radiation models. For purely scattering aerosols, model bias relative to the line-by-line models in the top-of-the atmosphere aerosol radiative forcing ranges from roughly −10 to 20%, with over- and underestimates of radiative cooling at lower and higher solar zenith angle, respectively. Inter-model diversity (relative standard deviation) increases from ~10 to 15% as solar zenith angle decreases. Inter-model diversity in atmospheric and surface forcing decreases with increased aerosol absorption, indicating that the treatment of multiple-scattering is more variable than aerosol absorption in the models considered. Aerosol radiative forcing results from multi-stream models are generally in better agreement with the line-by-line results than the simpler two-stream schemes. Considering radiative fluxes, model performance is generally the same or slightly better than results from previous radiation scheme intercomparisons. However, the inter-model diversity in aerosol radiative forcing remains large, primarily as a result of the treatment of multiple-scattering. Results indicate that global models that estimate aerosol radiative forcing with two-stream radiation schemes may be subject to persistent biases introduced by these schemes, particularly for regional aerosol forcing.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:38374
Publisher:Copernicus Publications

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