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Episodes of cross-polar transport in the Arctic troposphere during July 2008 as seen from models, satellite, and aircraft observations

Sodemann, H. and Pommier, M. and Arnold, S. R. and Monks, S. A. and Stebel, K. and Burkhart, J. F. and Hair, J. W. and Diskin, G. S. and Clerbaux, C. and Coheur, P.-F. and Hurtmans, D. and Schlager, H. and Blechschmidt, A.-M. and Kristjánsson, J. E. and Stohl, A. (2011) Episodes of cross-polar transport in the Arctic troposphere during July 2008 as seen from models, satellite, and aircraft observations. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 11, pp. 3631-3651. DOI: 10.5194/acp-11-3631-2011.

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Official URL: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/11/3631/2011/


During the POLARCAT summer campaign in 2008, two episodes (2�5 July and 7�10 July 2008) occurred where low-pressure systems traveled from Siberia across the Arctic Ocean towards the North Pole. The two cyclones had extensive smoke plumes embedded in their associated air masses, creating an excellent opportunity to use satellite and aircraft observations to validate the performance of atmospheric transport models in the Arctic, which is a challenging model domain due to numerical and other complications. Here we compare transport simulations of carbon monoxide (CO) from the Lagrangian transport model FLEXPART, the Eulerian chemical transport model TOMCAT, and for numerical aspects the limited-area chemical transport model WRF-Chem. Retrievals of total column CO from the IASI passive infrared sensor onboard the MetOp-A satellite are used as a total column CO reference for the two simulations. Main aspect of the comparison is how realistic horizontal and vertical structures are represented in the model simulations. Analysis of CALIPSO lidar curtains and in situ aircraft measurements provide further independent reference points to assess how reliable the model simulations are and what the main limitations are. The horizontal structure of mid-latitude pollution plumes agrees well between the IASI total column CO and the model simulations. However, finer-scale structures are too quickly diffused in the Eulerian models. Aircraft data suggest that the satellite data are biased high, while TOMCAT and WRF-Chem are biased low. FLEXPART fits the aircraft data rather well, but due to added background concentrations the simulation is not independent from observations. The multi-data, multi-model approach allows separating the influences of meteorological fields, model realisation, and grid type on the plume structure. In addition to the very good agreement between simulated and observed total column CO fields, the results also highlight the difficulty to identify a data set that most realistically represents the actual state of the atmosphere.

Document Type:Article
Title:Episodes of cross-polar transport in the Arctic troposphere during July 2008 as seen from models, satellite, and aircraft observations
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Sodemann, H.NILU, Kjeller, N
Arnold, S. R.Univ. of Leeds, UK
Monks, S. A.Univ. of Leeds, UK
Stebel, K.NILU, Kjeller, N
Burkhart, J. F.NILU, Kjeller, N
Hair, J. W.NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VI, USA
Diskin, G. S.NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VI, USA
Clerbaux, C.CNRS/INSU, LATMOS-IPSL, Paris, F
Coheur, P.-F.Univ. Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, B
Hurtmans, D.Univ. Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, B
Schlager, H.DLR
Blechschmidt, A.-M.Oslo Univ., N
Kristjánsson, J. E.Oslo Univ., N
Stohl, A.NILU, Kjeller, N
Journal or Publication Title:Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 3631-3651
Keywords:long range transport, Arctic, carbon monoxide
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Atmosphären- und Klimaforschung
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Trace Species
Deposited By: Yasemin Yilmaz
Deposited On:09 Dec 2010 11:41
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 21:08

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