This document outlines a practical strategy for achieving an observationally based quantification of direct climate forcing by anthropogenic aerosols. The strategy involves a four-step program for shifting the current assumption-laden estimates to an increasingly empirical basis using satellite observations coordinated with suborbital remote and in situ measurements and with chemical transport models. Conceptually, the problem is framed as a need for complete global mapping of four parameters: clear-sky aerosol optical depth ff, radiative efficiency per unit optical depth , fine-mode fraction of optical depth ff, and the anthropogenic fraction of the fine mode faf . The first three parameters can be retrieved from satellites, but correlative, suborbital measurements are required for quantifying the aerosol properties that control E, for validating the retrieval of ff, and for partitioning fine-mode between natural and anthropogenic components. The satellite focus is on the A-Train, a constellation of six spacecraft that will fly in formation from about 2005 to 2008. Key satellite instruments for this report are the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) radiometers on Aqua, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) radiometer on Aura, the Polarization and Directionality of Earth's Reflectances (POLDER) polarimeter on the Polarization and Anistropy of Reflectances for Atmospheric Sciences Coupled with Observations from a Lidar (PARASOL), and the Cloud and Aerosol Lider with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) lidar on the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO). This strategy is offered as an initial frameworksubject to improvement over timefor scientists around the world to participate in the A-Train opportunity. It is a specific implementation of the Progressive Aerosol Retrieval and Assimilation Global Observing Network (PARAGON) program, presented earlier in this journal, which identified the integration of diverse data as the central challenge to progress in quantifying global-scale aerosol effects. By designing a strategy around this need for integration, we develop recommendations for both satellite data interpretation and correlative suborbital activities that represent, in many respects, departures from current practice.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Dec 7, 2005
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