Using modelled relationships and satellite observations to attribute modelled aerosol biases over biomass burning regions

Qirui Zhong, Nick Schutgens, Guido R. van der Werf, Twan van Noije, Susanne E. Bauer, Kostas Tsigaridis, Tero Mielonen, Ramiro Checa-Garcia, David Neubauer, Zak Kipling, Alf Kirkevåg, Dirk J.L. Olivié, Harri Kokkola, Hitoshi Matsui, Paul Ginoux, Toshihiko Takemura, Philippe Le Sager, Samuel Rémy, Huisheng Bian, Mian Chin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Biomass burning (BB) is a major source of aerosols that remain the most uncertain components of the global radiative forcing. Current global models have great difficulty matching observed aerosol optical depth (AOD) over BB regions. A common solution to address modelled AOD biases is scaling BB emissions. Using the relationship from an ensemble of aerosol models and satellite observations, we show that the bias in aerosol modelling results primarily from incorrect lifetimes and underestimated mass extinction coefficients. In turn, these biases seem to be related to incorrect precipitation and underestimated particle sizes. We further show that boosting BB emissions to correct AOD biases over the source region causes an overestimation of AOD in the outflow from Africa by 48%, leading to a double warming effect compared with when biases are simultaneously addressed for both aforementioned factors. Such deviations are particularly concerning in a warming future with increasing emissions from fires.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5914
JournalNature communications
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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