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Atmospheric Composition, Climate Variability & Change

Lightning-NO emissions from lightning play an important role in determining the distribution of ozone, especially in the tropics. The coupled GEOS-5 Chemistry-Climate Model (GEOS-5 CCM) is a tool designed to study the impact of chemistry on climate. We propose to develop lightning-NO algorithms for the GEOS-5 CCM that are appropriate for use in a climate setting and to use these algorithms to evaluate the response of lightning-NO emissions and tropospheric chemistry to El Niño / Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-driven and climate-driven changes in temperature and convective activity. We will begin by implementing the Price and Rind scheme. In order to assess uncertainties in the response of lightning-NO emissions to climate change, we will also implement ice-water content-, cold-cloud depth-, and/or updraft-velocity-based schemes. We will evaluate the response of the various schemes to ENSO-driven variations in convection by driving the GEOS-5 CCM with sea surface temperatures (SSTs) from an El Niño and a La Niña time period. CCM-calculated NO2 and O3 from the ENSO-driven simulations will be compared to Aura measurements during El Niño and La Niña periods. In order to assess the impact of climate-altered NO emissions on tropospheric chemistry, we will also perform "year 2050" simulations forced by SSTs from model simulations of future El Niño and La Niña periods. This proposal addresses Strategic Goal 3A from the 2006 NASA Strategic Plan and will address the following science questions that are listed under Goal 3A. How is the global Earth system changing and what are the primary causes of the change? How does the Earth system respond to natural changes? How will the Earth System change in the future? The expected outcome of this proposed work are an improved understanding and quantification of the impact of climate change on lightning-NO emissions, tropospheric chemistry, and radiative forcing.

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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Aug 10, 2010

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