Journal article

Spatial and seasonal distribution of Arctic aerosols observed by the CALIOP satellite instrument (2006-2012)

Di Pierro M, Jaeglé L, Eloranta E, Sharma S ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 13, issue 14 (2013) pp. 7075-7095

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We use retrievals of aerosol extinction from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) onboard the CALIPSO satellite to examine the vertical, horizontal and temporal variability of tropospheric Arctic aerosols during the period 2006-2012. We develop an empirical method that takes into account the difference in sensitivity between daytime and nighttime retrievals over the Arctic. Comparisons of the retrieved aerosol extinction to in situ measurements at Barrow (Alaska) and Alert (Canada) show that CALIOP reproduces the observed seasonal cycle and magnitude of surface aerosols to within 25 %. In the free troposphere, we find that daytime CALIOP retrievals will only detect the strongest aerosol haze events, as demonstrated by a comparison to aircraft measurements obtained during NASA's ARCTAS mission during April 2008. This leads to a systematic underestimate of the column aerosol optical depth by a factor of 2-10. However, when the CALIOP sensitivity threshold is applied to aircraft observations, we find that CALIOP reproduces in situ observations to within 20% and captures the vertical profile of extinction over the Alaskan Arctic. Comparisons with the ground-based high spectral resolution lidar (HSRL) at Eureka, Canada, show that CALIOP and HSRL capture the evolution of the aerosol backscatter vertical distribution from winter to spring, but a quantitative comparison is inconclusive as the retrieved HSRL backscatter appears to overestimate in situ observations by a factor of 2 at all altitudes. In the High Arctic (>70 degrees N) near the surface (

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  • M. Di Pierro

  • L. Jaeglé

  • E. W. Eloranta

  • S. Sharma

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