Monitoring and modeling aerosol particle life cycle in Southeast Asia (SEA) is challenged by high cloud cover, complex meteorology, and the wide range of aerosol species, sources, and transformations found throughout the region. Satellite observations are limited, and there are few in situ observations of aerosol extinction profiles, aerosol properties, and environmental conditions. Therefore, accurate aerosol model outputs are crucial for the region. This work evaluates the Navy Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System Reanalysis (NAAPS-RA) aerosol optical thickness (AOT) and light extinction products using airborne aerosol and meteorological measurements from the Cloud, Aerosol, and Monsoon Processes Philippines Experiment (CAMP2Ex) conducted in 2019 during the SEA southwest monsoon biomass burning season. Modeled AOTs and extinction coefficients are compared to those retrieved with a high spectral resolution lidar (HSRL-2). Agreement between simulated and retrieved AOT (R2Combining double low line 0.78, relative bias Combining double low line-5 %, normalized root mean square error (NRMSE) Combining double low line 48 %) and aerosol extinction coefficients (R2Combining double low line 0.80, 0.81, and 0.42; relative bias Combining double low line 3 %, -6 %, and -7 %; NRMSE Combining double low line 47 %, 53 %, and 118 % for altitudes between 40-500, 500-1500, and >1500 m, respectively) is quite good considering the challenging environment and few opportunities for assimilations of AOT from satellites during the campaign. Modeled relative humidities (RHs) are negatively biased at all altitudes (absolute bias Combining double low line-5 %, -8 %, and -3 % for altitudes <500 500-1500 and >1500 m, respectively), motivating interest in the role of RH errors in AOT and extinction simulations. Interestingly, NAAPS-RA AOT and extinction agreement with the HSRL-2 does not change significantly (i.e., NRMSE values do not all decrease) when RHs from dropsondes are substituted into the model, yet biases all move in a positive direction. Further exploration suggests changes in modeled extinction are more sensitive to the actual magnitude of both the extinction coefficients and the dropsonde RHs being substituted into the model as opposed to the absolute differences between simulated and measured RHs. Finally, four case studies examine how model errors in RH and the hygroscopic growth parameter, γ, affect simulations of extinction in the mixed layer (ML). We find NAAPS-RA overestimates the hygroscopicity of (i) smoke particles from biomass burning in the Maritime Continent (MC) and (ii) anthropogenic emissions transported from East Asia. This work mainly provides insight into the relationship between errors in modeled RH and simulations of AOT and extinction in a humid and tropical environment influenced by a myriad of meteorological conditions and particle types. These results can be interpreted and addressed by the modeling community as part of the effort to better understand, quantify, and forecast atmospheric conditions in SEA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science