A Satellite-based Assessment of Trans-Pacific Transport of Pollution Aerosol
- Remer, Lorraine
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Additional Creators:
- Yu, Hongbin, Chin, Mian, Kleidman, Richard, Diehl. Thomas, and Bian, Huisheng
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- It has been well documented that pollution aerosol and dust from East Asia can transport across the North Pacific basin, reaching North America and beyond. Such intercontinental transport extends the impact of aerosols for climate change, air quality, atmospheric chemistry, and ocean biology from local and regional scales to hemispheric and global scales. Long term, measurement-based studies are necessary to adequately assess the implications of these wider impacts. A satellite-based assessment can augment intensive field campaigns by expanding temporal and spatial scales and also serve as constraints for model simulations. Satellite imagers have been providing a wealth of evidence for the intercontinental transport of aerosols for more than two decades. Quantitative assessments, however, became feasible only recently as a result of the much improved measurement accuracy and enhanced new capabilities of satellite sensors. In this study, we generated a 4-year (2002 to 2005) climatology of optical depth for pollution aerosol (defined as a mixture of aerosols from urbanlindustrial pollution and biomass burning in this study) over the North Pacific from MODerate resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) observations of fine- and coarse-mode aerosol optical depths. The pollution aerosol mass loading and fluxes were then calculated using measurements of the dependence of aerosol mass extinction efficiency on relative humidity and of aerosol vertical distributions from field campaigns and available satellite observations in the region. We estimated that about 18 Tg/year pollution aerosol is exported from East Asia to the northwestern Pacific Ocean, of which about 25% reaches the west coast of North America. The pollution fluxes are largest in spring and smallest in summer. For the period we have examined the strongest export and import of pollution particulates occurred in 2003, due largely to record intense Eurasia wildfires in spring and summer. The overall uncertainty of pollution fluxes is estimated at about 80%. A reduction of uncertainty can be achieved with a better characterization of pollution aerosol through integrating emerging A-Train measurements. Simulations by the Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport (GOCART) and Global Modeling Initiative (GMI) models agree quite well with the satellite-based estimates of annual and latitudeintegrated fluxes, with larger model-satellite differences in latitudinal variations of fluxes.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20080040177.
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