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Markowicz, KM, Flatau PJ, Quinn PK, Carrico CM, Flatau MK, Vogelmann AM, Bates D, Liu M, Rood MJ.  2003.  Influence of relative humidity on aerosol radiative forcing: An ACE-Asia experiment perspective. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 108   10.1029/2002jd003066   AbstractWebsite

We present direct radiometric observations of aerosol radiative forcing during the ACE-Asia experiment (March and April of 2001). The observational analysis is based on radiometer data obtained from the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown, and shipboard measurements of the aerosol chemical and scattering properties are used to construct a model of the aerosol optical properties for use in radiative transfer calculations. The model is validated against the radiometric observations and is used to diagnose the aerosol and environmental factors that contribute to the observed forcings. The mean value of aerosol optical thickness observed during the ACE-Asia cruise over the Sea of Japan was 0.43 (+/-0.25) at 500 nm, while the single-scattering albedo was 0.95 (+/-0.03) at ambient relative humidity. We find a large correlation (r(2) = 0.69) between single-scattering albedo and relative humidity. Aerosols caused a mean decrease in the diurnally averaged solar radiation of 26.1 W m(-2) at the surface, while increasing the atmospheric solar absorption and top of atmosphere reflected solar radiation by 13.4 W m(-2) and 12.7 W m(-2), respectively. The mean surface aerosol forcing efficiency (forcing per unit optical depth) over the Sea of Japan was -60 W m(-2) and is influenced by high values of relative humidity. We show that decreasing the relative humidity to 55% enhances the aerosol forcing efficiency by as much as 6-10 W m(-2). This dependency on relative humidity has implications for comparisons of aerosol forcing efficiencies between different geographical locations.

Conant, WC, Seinfeld JH, Wang J, Carmichael GR, Tang YH, Uno I, Flatau PJ, Markowicz KM, Quinn PK.  2003.  A model for the radiative forcing during ACE-Asia derived from CIRPAS Twin Otter and R/V Ronald H. Brown data and comparison with observations. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 108   10.1029/2002jd003260   AbstractWebsite

Vertical profiles of aerosol size, composition, and hygroscopic behavior from Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely Piloted Aircraft Studies (CIRPAS) Twin Otter and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration R/V Ronald H. Brown observations are used to construct a generic optical model of the Asian Pacific Regional Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE-Asia) aerosol. The model accounts for sulfate, black carbon, organic carbon, sea salt, and mineral dust. The effects of relative humidity and mixing assumptions (internal versus external, coating of dust by pollutants) are explicitly accounted for. The aerosol model is integrated with a Monte Carlo radiative transfer model to compute direct radiative forcing in the solar spectrum. The predicted regional average surface aerosol forcing efficiency (change in clear-sky radiative flux per unit aerosol optical depth at 500 nm) during the ACE-Asia intensive period is -65 Wm(-2) for pure dust and -60 Wm(-2) for pure pollution aerosol (clear skies). A three-dimensional atmospheric chemical transport model (Chemical Weather Forecast System (CFORS)) is used with the radiative transfer model to derive regional radiative forcing during ACE-Asia in clear and cloudy skies. Net regional solar direct radiative forcing during the 5-15 April 2001 dust storm period is -3 Wm(-2) at the top of the atmosphere and -17 Wm(-2) at the surface for the region from 20degreesN to 50degreesN and 100degreesE to 150degreesE when the effects of clouds on the direct forcing are included. The model fluxes and forcing efficiencies are found to be in good agreement with surface radiometric observations made aboard the R. H. Brown. Mean cloud conditions are found to moderate the top of atmosphere (TOA) radiative forcing by a factor of similar to3 compared to clear-sky calculations, but atmospheric absorption by aerosol is not strongly affected by clouds in this study. The regional aerosol effect at the TOA ("climate forcing") of -3 Wm(-2) is comparable in magnitude, but of opposite sign, to present-day anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing. The forcing observed during ACE-Asia is similar in character to that seen during other major field experiments downwind of industrial and biomass black carbon sources (e.g., the Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX)), insofar as the primary effect of aerosol is to redistribute solar heating from the surface to the atmosphere.

Valero, FPJ, Collins WD, Pilewskie P, Bucholtz A, Flatau PJ.  1997.  Direct radiometric observations of the water vapor greenhouse effect over the equatorial Pacific ocean. Science. 275:1773-1776.   10.1126/science.275.5307.1773   AbstractWebsite

Airborne radiometric measurements were used to determine tropospheric profiles of the clear sky greenhouse effect. At sea surface temperatures (SSTs) larger than 300 kelvin, the clear sky water vapor greenhouse effect was found to increase with SST at a rate of 13 to 15 watts per square meter per kelvin. Satellite measurements of infrared radiances and SSTs indicate that almost 52 percent of the tropical oceans between 20 degrees N and 20 degrees S are affected during all seasons. Current general circulation models suggest that the increase in the clear sky water vapor greenhouse effect with SST may have climatic effects an a planetary scale.