Activity 4: Implications of Measurements on Simulations of Atmospheric Processes and Climate

The development of chemical transport models (CTMs) and general circulation models (GCMs) includes a rigorous effort to represent aerosol processes of relevance for climate.  However, many uncertainties remain.  A central objective of this activity is to integrate the NETCARE measurements from the previous three activities by evaluating and improving aerosol representation in global models. This objective will then enable improved estimates of the role of radiative forcing of aerosols in present-day climate, and improved predictions of future climate impacts.

Key questions to be addressed are:

-How well do models represent aerosol processes in remote areas of Canada?

-How do aerosol processes drive uncertainties in model simulations and how can aerosol simulations be improved?

-How do aerosols contribute to changes in climate at mid-high latitudes?

The NETCARE field observations will be expanded upon by a suite of ground-based and satellite observations that extend our analysis of aerosol processes in space and time.  The additional observations available include:


i)     long-term in situ measurements from Barrow, Ny-Alesund (in addition to Alert, Whistler)

ii)    indicators of aerosol optical depth (AOD) and particle size from more than 19 ground-              based sun-photometers as part of a ground based network (AEROCAN / AERONET)

iii)   AOD measurements from the MODIS, MISR, and VIIRS satellite instruments

iv)  vertical profiles of aerosol backscatter across Canada from ground-based lidars                       (collocated with AEROCAN), and space-based lidars (CALIOP and ATLID)

v)   cloud linkages through the CloudSat radar and the EarthCARE Cloud Profiling Radar.


Modelling activities outlined below will serve to integrate these with the other observational data sets in the network for carbonaceous aerosols, ocean-atmosphere interactions, and ice cloud formation.  Modelling will also be used to help identify specific measurement needs. In addition, implications of model improvements for multi-decadal changes in climate will be analyzed.