Related Research Areas
Atmospheric Composition

Wind-blown dust has significant effects on climate and the environment. Dust particles affect surface temperatures that mediates hurricane strength, change the marine biochemistry, play a role in neutralizing acid rain and in the life cycle of coral reefs. Mineral dust is an important climate-forcing factor, causing large and variable radiative effects on local and global scales. Despite a variety of dust modeling studies, the currently estimated uncertainty in dust emission and deposition is at least a factor of 10 in some regions, due to high spatial and temporal variability and limited observations. The availability of the latest satellite data from instruments operating in the UV (OMI), visible and near-infrared (MODIS, MISR, CALIPSO) and thermal infrared (AIRS) make it possible to obtain additional information about dust emission and intercontinental transport for climate applications. In this project, we will perform integrated analysis of satellite observations to study dust source activity over Western Africa and dust property evolution over the Atlantic Ocean during the 2006 and 2007 summer seasons. We will use the JPL Aerosol Measurement and Processing System (AMAPS) to analyze satellite and ground-based AERONET data and to quantitatively test the dust parameterization in the NRL Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System (NAAPS). NAAPS will use our assessment to supplement their ongoing dust modeling activities. Our dust property assessment will potentially contribute to the larger dust modeling community, and will help to improve dust radiate forcing predictions and mass flux estimates. Our research plan is to focus on the following: (1) Characterize dust-plume property evolution, vertical profiles and deposition from AIRS, MODIS, MISR and CALIOP aerosol retrievals for selected Saharan dust outbreaks observed during multiple stages of transport (close-to-source and progressively down-wind). (2) Estimate dust source strength and activity through correlated analysis of OMI UV and MISR green-band optical depths over Africa. (3) Provide NAAPS with dataset for quantitative testing of dust parameterization for improving model predictions of dust emission, transport, deposition and local forcing by comparing event-by-event plume property agreement between NAAPS and the combined spatially-averaged satellite observations. Our education plan is to develop a set of age-appropriate educational activities that will help 9-12 grade students understand the effect of dust on Earth's climate. Activities will include analysis of satellite-observed dust loading together with school-measured aerosol optical depth, temperature, and rain rates. We will utilize the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) infrastructure to identify teachers who will participate in our workshops, test our tools and proposed activities, and then will help to develop educational examples to be used in GLOBE aerosol protocol.

Project PI: Olga Kalashnikova/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Jet Propulsion Laboratory M/S 180-401 4800 Oak Grove Drive Pasadena, CA 91109

Phone: 818.393.0469

Fax: 818.393.4619


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Started: Aug 09, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 09, 2010


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