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Mie simulations as an error source in mineral aerosol radiative forcing calculations
SMHI, Research Department, Air quality.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5695-1356
2007 (English)In: Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, ISSN 0035-9009, E-ISSN 1477-870X, Vol. 133, no 623, 299-307 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The role of aerosols remains a major uncertainty for climate and climate change. For the direct radiative forcing by mineral aerosols, the uncertainty in the refractive index in has been regarded as the most important error source, while the impact of aerosol non-sphericity has been considered a minor issue and is neglected in climate models. Here, the errors caused by the spherical particle approximation (SPA) are evaluated by comparing radiative fluxes based on (i) Mie simulations and (ii) laboratory measurements of aerosol optical properties. Furthermore, they are contrasted with the errors related to the uncertainty in the refractive index. These two error sources are found to be of comparable magnitude, although they are strongly dependent on optical depth, surface albedo, and particle size. Thus, our results provide evidence that, contrary to common beliefs, the use of spherical model particles in radiative transfer simulations is probably among the major sources of error in quantifying the climate forcing effect of mineral aerosols. This stems from misrepresentation of the scattering phase function and the asymmetry parameter. Aerosol single-scattering computations based on non-spherical model particles are expected to reduce the shape-related errors and thus significantly improve the accuracy of radiative forcing simulations. Copyright (c) 2007 Royal Meteorological Society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 133, no 623, 299-307 p.
Keyword [en]
asymmetry parameter, desert dust, radiative transfer, scattering, climate
National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Research subject
Environment
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:smhi:diva-771DOI: 10.1002/qj.40ISI: 000245911700003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:smhi-771DiVA: diva2:808149
Available from: 2015-04-27 Created: 2015-04-22 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Kahnert, Michael

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