Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

You are here: Home / Publications / Peer-reviewed papers / lmd_Boucher2009_abstracts.html


2009 .

(10 publications)

N. Huneeus, O. Boucher, and F. Chevallier. Simplified aerosol modeling for variational data assimilation. Geoscientific Model Development, 2:213-229, November 2009. [ bib | ADS link ]

We have developed a simplified aerosol model together with its tangent linear and adjoint versions for the ultimate aim of optimizing global aerosol and aerosol precursor emission using variational data assimilation. The model was derived from the general circulation model LMDz; it groups together the 24 aerosol species simulated in LMDz into 4 species, namely gaseous precursors, fine mode aerosols, coarse mode desert dust and coarse mode sea salt. The emissions have been kept as in the original model. Modifications, however, were introduced in the computation of aerosol optical depth and in the processes of sedimentation, dry and wet deposition and sulphur chemistry to ensure consistency with the new set of species and their composition. <BR /><BR /> The simplified model successfully manages to reproduce the main features of the aerosol distribution in LMDz. The largest differences in aerosol load are observed for fine mode aerosols and gaseous precursors. Differences between the original and simplified models are mainly associated to the new deposition and sedimentation velocities consistent with the definition of species in the simplified model and the simplification of the sulphur chemistry. Furthermore, simulated aerosol optical depth remains within the variability of monthly AERONET observations for all aerosol types and all sites throughout most of the year. Largest differences are observed over sites with strong desert dust influence. In terms of the daily aerosol variability, the model is less able to reproduce the observed variability from the AERONET data with larger discrepancies in stations affected by industrial aerosols. The simplified model however, closely follows the daily simulation from LMDz. <BR /><BR /> Sensitivity analyses with the tangent linear version show that the simplified sulphur chemistry is the dominant process responsible for the strong non-linearity of the model.

D. Koch, M. Schulz, S. Kinne, C. McNaughton, J. R. Spackman, Y. Balkanski, S. Bauer, T. Berntsen, T. C. Bond, O. Boucher, M. Chin, A. Clarke, N. de Luca, F. Dentener, T. Diehl, O. Dubovik, R. Easter, D. W. Fahey, J. Feichter, D. Fillmore, S. Freitag, S. Ghan, P. Ginoux, S. Gong, L. Horowitz, T. Iversen, A. Kirkevåg, Z. Klimont, Y. Kondo, M. Krol, X. Liu, R. Miller, V. Montanaro, N. Moteki, G. Myhre, J. E. Penner, J. Perlwitz, G. Pitari, S. Reddy, L. Sahu, H. Sakamoto, G. Schuster, J. P. Schwarz, Ø. Seland, P. Stier, N. Takegawa, T. Takemura, C. Textor, J. A. van Aardenne, and Y. Zhao. Evaluation of black carbon estimations in global aerosol models. Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics, 9:9001-9026, November 2009. [ bib | ADS link ]

We evaluate black carbon (BC) model predictions from the AeroCom model intercomparison project by considering the diversity among year 2000 model simulations and comparing model predictions with available measurements. These model-measurement intercomparisons include BC surface and aircraft concentrations, aerosol absorption optical depth (AAOD) retrievals from AERONET and Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and BC column estimations based on AERONET. In regions other than Asia, most models are biased high compared to surface concentration measurements. However compared with (column) AAOD or BC burden retreivals, the models are generally biased low. The average ratio of model to retrieved AAOD is less than 0.7 in South American and 0.6 in African biomass burning regions; both of these regions lack surface concentration measurements. In Asia the average model to observed ratio is 0.7 for AAOD and 0.5 for BC surface concentrations. Compared with aircraft measurements over the Americas at latitudes between 0 and 50N, the average model is a factor of 8 larger than observed, and most models exceed the measured BC standard deviation in the mid to upper troposphere. At higher latitudes the average model to aircraft BC ratio is 0.4 and models underestimate the observed BC loading in the lower and middle troposphere associated with springtime Arctic haze. Low model bias for AAOD but overestimation of surface and upper atmospheric BC concentrations at lower latitudes suggests that most models are underestimating BC absorption and should improve estimates for refractive index, particle size, and optical effects of BC coating. Retrieval uncertainties and/or differences with model diagnostic treatment may also contribute to the model-measurement disparity. Largest AeroCom model diversity occurred in northern Eurasia and the remote Arctic, regions influenced by anthropogenic sources. Changing emissions, aging, removal, or optical properties within a single model generated a smaller change in model predictions than the range represented by the full set of AeroCom models. Upper tropospheric concentrations of BC mass from the aircraft measurements are suggested to provide a unique new benchmark to test scavenging and vertical dispersion of BC in global models.

J. Quaas, Y. Ming, S. Menon, T. Takemura, M. Wang, J. E. Penner, A. Gettelman, U. Lohmann, N. Bellouin, O. Boucher, A. M. Sayer, G. E. Thomas, A. McComiskey, G. Feingold, C. Hoose, J. E. Kristjánsson, X. Liu, Y. Balkanski, L. J. Donner, P. A. Ginoux, P. Stier, B. Grandey, J. Feichter, I. Sednev, S. E. Bauer, D. Koch, R. G. Grainger, A. Kirkevåg, T. Iversen, Ø. Seland, R. Easter, S. J. Ghan, P. J. Rasch, H. Morrison, J.-F. Lamarque, M. J. Iacono, S. Kinne, and M. Schulz. Aerosol indirect effects - general circulation model intercomparison and evaluation with satellite data. Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics, 9:8697-8717, November 2009. [ bib | ADS link ]

Aerosol indirect effects continue to constitute one of the most important uncertainties for anthropogenic climate perturbations. Within the international AEROCOM initiative, the representation of aerosol-cloud-radiation interactions in ten different general circulation models (GCMs) is evaluated using three satellite datasets. The focus is on stratiform liquid water clouds since most GCMs do not include ice nucleation effects, and none of the model explicitly parameterises aerosol effects on convective clouds. We compute statistical relationships between aerosol optical depth (τa) and various cloud and radiation quantities in a manner that is consistent between the models and the satellite data. It is found that the model-simulated influence of aerosols on cloud droplet number concentration (Nd) compares relatively well to the satellite data at least over the ocean. The relationship between τa and liquid water path is simulated much too strongly by the models. This suggests that the implementation of the second aerosol indirect effect mainly in terms of an autoconversion parameterisation has to be revisited in the GCMs. A positive relationship between total cloud fraction (fcld) and τa as found in the satellite data is simulated by the majority of the models, albeit less strongly than that in the satellite data in most of them. In a discussion of the hypotheses proposed in the literature to explain the satellite-derived strong fclda relationship, our results indicate that none can be identified as a unique explanation. Relationships similar to the ones found in satellite data between τa and cloud top temperature or outgoing long-wave radiation (OLR) are simulated by only a few GCMs. The GCMs that simulate a negative OLR-τa relationship show a strong positive correlation between τa and fcld. The short-wave total aerosol radiative forcing as simulated by the GCMs is strongly influenced by the simulated anthropogenic fraction of τa, and parameterisation assumptions such as a lower bound on Nd. Nevertheless, the strengths of the statistical relationships are good predictors for the aerosol forcings in the models. An estimate of the total short-wave aerosol forcing inferred from the combination of these predictors for the modelled forcings with the satellite-derived statistical relationships yields a global annual mean value of -1.50.5 Wm-2. In an alternative approach, the radiative flux perturbation due to anthropogenic aerosols can be broken down into a component over the cloud-free portion of the globe (approximately the aerosol direct effect) and a component over the cloudy portion of the globe (approximately the aerosol indirect effect). An estimate obtained by scaling these simulated clear- and cloudy-sky forcings with estimates of anthropogenic τa and satellite-retrieved Nda regression slopes, respectively, yields a global, annual-mean aerosol direct effect estimate of -0.40.2 Wm-2 and a cloudy-sky (aerosol indirect effect) estimate of -0.70.5 Wm-2, with a total estimate of -1.20.4 Wm-2.

J. Quaas, O. Boucher, A. Jones, G. P. Weedon, J. Kieser, and H. Joos. Exploiting the weekly cycle as observed over Europe to analyse aerosol indirect effects in two climate models. Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics, 9:8493-8501, November 2009. [ bib | ADS link ]

A weekly cycle in aerosol pollution and some meteorological quantities is observed over Europe. In the present study we exploit this effect to analyse aerosol-cloud-radiation interactions. A weekly cycle is imposed on anthropogenic emissions in two general circulation models that include parameterizations of aerosol processes and cloud microphysics. It is found that the simulated weekly cycles in sulfur dioxide, sulfate, and aerosol optical depth in both models agree reasonably well with those observed indicating model skill in simulating the aerosol cycle. A distinct weekly cycle in cloud droplet number concentration is demonstrated in both observations and models. For other variables, such as cloud liquid water path, cloud cover, top-of-the-atmosphere radiation fluxes, precipitation, and surface temperature, large variability and contradictory results between observations, model simulations, and model control simulations without a weekly cycle in emissions prevent us from reaching any firm conclusions about the potential aerosol impact on meteorology or the realism of the modelled second aerosol indirect effects.

O. Boucher, P. Friedlingstein, B. Collins, and K. P. Shine. The indirect global warming potential and global temperature change potential due to methane oxidation. Environmental Research Letters, 4(4):044007, October 2009. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Methane is the second most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas in the atmosphere next to carbon dioxide. Its global warming potential (GWP) for a time horizon of 100 years is 25, which makes it an attractive target for climate mitigation policies. Although the methane GWP traditionally includes the methane indirect effects on the concentrations of ozone and stratospheric water vapour, it does not take into account the production of carbon dioxide from methane oxidation. We argue here that this CO2-induced effect should be included for fossil sources of methane, which results in slightly larger GWP values for all time horizons. If the global temperature change potential is used as an alternative climate metric, then the impact of the CO2-induced effect is proportionally much larger. We also discuss what the correction term should be for methane from anthropogenic biogenic sources.

A. Benedetti, J.-J. Morcrette, O. Boucher, A. Dethof, R. J. Engelen, M. Fisher, H. Flentje, N. Huneeus, L. Jones, J. W. Kaiser, S. Kinne, A. Mangold, M. Razinger, A. J. Simmons, and M. Suttie. Aerosol analysis and forecast in the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Integrated Forecast System: 2. Data assimilation. Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres), 114:13205, July 2009. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

This study presents the new aerosol assimilation system, developed at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, for the Global and regional Earth-system Monitoring using Satellite and in-situ data (GEMS) project. The aerosol modeling and analysis system is fully integrated in the operational four-dimensional assimilation apparatus. Its purpose is to produce aerosol forecasts and reanalyses of aerosol fields using optical depth data from satellite sensors. This paper is the second of a series which describes the GEMS aerosol effort. It focuses on the theoretical architecture and practical implementation of the aerosol assimilation system. It also provides a discussion of the background errors and observations errors for the aerosol fields, and presents a subset of results from the 2-year reanalysis which has been run for 2003 and 2004 using data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on the Aqua and Terra satellites. Independent data sets are used to show that despite some compromises that have been made for feasibility reasons in regards to the choice of control variable and error characteristics, the analysis is very skillful in drawing to the observations and in improving the forecasts of aerosol optical depth.

A. Jones, J. Haywood, and O. Boucher. Climate impacts of geoengineering marine stratocumulus clouds. Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres), 114:10106, May 2009. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Theoretical potential geoengineering solutions to the global warming problem have recently been proposed. Here, we present an idealized study of the climate response to deliberately seeding large-scale stratocumulus cloud decks in the North Pacific, South Pacific, and South Atlantic, thereby inducing cooling via aerosol indirect effects. Atmosphere-only, atmosphere/mixed-layer ocean, and fully coupled atmosphere/ocean versions of the Met Office Hadley Centre model are used to investigate the radiative forcing, climate efficacy, and regional response of temperature, precipitation, and net primary productivity to such geoengineering. The radiative forcing simulations indicate that, for our parameterization of aerosol indirect effects, up to 35% of the radiative forcing due to current levels of greenhouse gases could be offset by stratocumulus modification. Equilibrium simulations with the atmosphere/mixed-layer ocean model, wherein each of the three stratocumulus sheets is modified in turn, reveal that the most efficient cooling per unit radiative forcing occurs when the South Pacific stratocumulus sheet is modified. Transient coupled model simulations suggest that geoengineering all three stratocumulus areas delays the simulated global warming by about 25 years. These simulations also indicate that, while some areas experience increases in precipitation and net primary productivity, sharp decreases are simulated in South America, with particularly detrimental impacts on the Amazon rain forest. These results show that, while some areas benefit from geoengineering, there are significant areas where the response could be very detrimental with implications for the practical applicability of such a scheme.

J.-J. Morcrette, O. Boucher, L. Jones, D. Salmond, P. Bechtold, A. Beljaars, A. Benedetti, A. Bonet, J. W. Kaiser, M. Razinger, M. Schulz, S. Serrar, A. J. Simmons, M. Sofiev, M. Suttie, A. M. Tompkins, and A. Untch. Aerosol analysis and forecast in the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Integrated Forecast System: Forward modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres), 114:6206, March 2009. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

This paper presents the aerosol modeling now part of the ECMWF Integrated Forecasting System (IFS). It includes new prognostic variables for the mass of sea salt, dust, organic matter and black carbon, and sulphate aerosols, interactive with both the dynamics and the physics of the model. It details the various parameterizations used in the IFS to account for the presence of tropospheric aerosols. Details are given of the various formulations and data sets for the sources of the different aerosols and of the parameterizations describing their sinks. Comparisons of monthly mean and daily aerosol quantities like optical depths against satellite and surface observations are presented. The capability of the forecast model to simulate aerosol events is illustrated through comparisons of dust plume events. The ECMWF IFS provides a good description of the horizontal distribution and temporal variability of the main aerosol types. The forecast-only model described here generally gives the total aerosol optical depth within 0.12 of the relevant observations and can therefore provide the background trajectory information for the aerosol assimilation system described in part 2 of this paper.

O. Boucher, A. Jones, and R. A. Betts. Climate response to the physiological impact of carbon dioxide on plants in the Met Office Unified Model HadCM3. Climate Dynamics, 32:237-249, February 2009. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere acts to control the stomatal conductance of plants. There is observational and modelling evidence that an increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 would suppress the evapotranspiration (ET) rate over land. This process is known as CO2 physiological forcing and has been shown to induce changes in surface temperature and continental runoff. We analyse two transient climate simulations for the twenty-first century to isolate the climate response to the CO2 physiological forcing. The land surface warming associated with the decreased ET rate is accompanied by an increase in the atmospheric lapse rate, an increase in specific humidity, but a decrease in relative humidity and stratiform cloud over land. We find that the water vapour feedback more than compensates for the decrease in latent heat flux over land as far as the budget of atmospheric water vapour is concerned. There is evidence that surface snow, water vapour and cloudiness respond to the CO2 physiological forcing and all contribute to further warm the climate system. The climate response to the CO2 physiological forcing has a quite different signature to that from the CO2 radiative forcing, especially in terms of the changes in the temperature vertical profile and surface energy budget over land.

M. Doutriaux-Boucher, M. J. Webb, J. M. Gregory, and O. Boucher. Carbon dioxide induced stomatal closure increases radiative forcing via a rapid reduction in low cloud. Geophysical Research Letters, 36:2703, January 2009. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

We performed an ensemble of twelve five-year experiments using a coupled climate-carbon-cycle model with scenarios of prescribed atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration; CO2 was instantaneously doubled or quadrupled at the start of the experiments. Within these five years, climate feedback is not significantly influenced by the effects of climate change on the carbon system. However, rapid changes take place, within much less than a year, due to the physiological effect of CO2 on plant stomatal conductance, leading to adjustment in the shortwave cloud radiative effect over land, due to a reduction in low cloud cover. This causes a 10% enhancement to the radiative forcing due to CO2, which leads to an increase in the equilibrium warming of 0.4 and 0.7 K for doubling and quadrupling. The implications for calibration of energy-balance models are discussed.

Contact information

EMC3 group

Case 99
Tour 45-55, 3ème étage
4 Place Jussieu
75252 Paris Cedex 05
Tel: 33 + 1 44 27 27 99
      33 + 6 16 27 34 18 (Dr F. Cheruy)
Tel: 33 + 1 44 27 35 25 (Secretary)
Fax: 33 + 1 44 27 62 72
email: emc3 at

Map of our location

EUREC4A campaign


Click the above logo for
the operationnal center.
Today's LMDZ meteogram

Upcoming Events
2020-04-06: Apr 06, 2020 02:30 PM - 04:00 PM
2020-04-13: Annulé - Pâques Apr 13, 2020 02:30 PM - 04:00 PM
2020-04-20: Sébastien Nguyen Apr 20, 2020 02:30 PM - 04:00 PM
Upcoming events…