Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

You are here: Home / Publications / Peer-reviewed papers / lmd_Dufresne2005_abstracts.html


2005 .

(6 publications)

J.-L. Dufresne, J. Quaas, O. Boucher, S. Denvil, and L. Fairhead. Contrasts in the effects on climate of anthropogenic sulfate aerosols between the 20th and the 21st century. Geophysical Research Letters, 32:21703, November 2005. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

In this study, we examine the time evolution of the relative contribution of sulfate aerosols and greenhouse gases to anthropogenic climate change. We use the new IPSL-CM4 coupled climate model for which the first indirect effect of sulfate aerosols has been calibrated using POLDER satellite data. For the recent historical period the sulfate aerosols play a key role on the temperature increase with a cooling effect of 0.5 K, to be compared to the 1.4 K warming due to greenhouse gas increase. In contrast, the projected temperature change for the 21st century is remarkably independent of the effects of anthropogenic sulfate aerosols for the SRES-A2 scenario. Those results are interpreted comparing the different radiative forcings, and can be extended to other scenarios. We also highlight that the first indirect effect of aerosol strongly depends on the land surface model by changing the cloud cover.

S. Bony and J.-L. Dufresne. Marine boundary layer clouds at the heart of tropical cloud feedback uncertainties in climate models. Geophysical Research Letters, 32:20806, October 2005. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The radiative response of tropical clouds to global warming exhibits a large spread among climate models, and this constitutes a major source of uncertainty for climate sensitivity estimates. To better interpret the origin of that uncertainty, we analyze the sensitivity of the tropical cloud radiative forcing to a change in sea surface temperature that is simulated by 15 coupled models simulating climate change and current interannual variability. We show that it is in regimes of large-scale subsidence that the model results (1) differ the most in climate change and (2) disagree the most with observations in the current climate (most models underestimate the interannual sensitivity of clouds albedo to a change in temperature). This suggests that the simulation of the sensitivity of marine boundary layer clouds to changing environmental conditions constitutes, currently, the main source of uncertainty in tropical cloud feedbacks simulated by general circulation models.

J.-L. Dufresne, R. Fournier, C. Hourdin, and F. Hourdin. Net Exchange Reformulation of Radiative Transfer in the CO2 15-μm Band on Mars. Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 62:3303-3319, September 2005. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The net exchange formulation (NEF) is an alternative to the usual radiative transfer formulation. It was proposed by two authors in 1967, but until now, this formulation has been used only in a very few cases for atmospheric studies. The aim of this paper is to present the NEF and its main advantages and to illustrate them in the case of planet Mars.In the NEF, the radiative fluxes are no longer considered. The basic variables are the net exchange rates between each pair of atmospheric layers i, j. NEF offers a meaningful matrix representation of radiative exchanges, allows qualification of the dominant contributions to the local heating rates, and provides a general framework to develop approximations satisfying reciprocity of radiative transfer as well as the first and second principles of thermodynamics. This may be very useful to develop fast radiative codes for GCMs.A radiative code developed along those lines is presented for a GCM of Mars. It is shown that computing the most important optical exchange factors at each time step and the other exchange factors only a few times a day strongly reduces the computation time without any significant precision lost. With this solution, the computation time increases proportionally to the number N of the vertical layers and no longer proportionally to its square N2. Some specific points, such as numerical instabilities that may appear in the high atmosphere and errors that may be introduced if inappropriate treatments are performed when reflection at the surface occurs, are also investigated.

M. Yoshioka, N. Mahowald, J.-L. Dufresne, and C. Luo. Simulation of absorbing aerosol indices for African dust. Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres), 110:18, September 2005. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

It has been speculated that the vegetation change and human land use have modulated the dust sources in North Africa and contributed to the observed increase of desert dust since 1960s. However, the roles of surface disturbances on dust generation are not well constrained because of limitations in the available data and models. This study addresses this issue by simulating the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) Absorbing Aerosol Indices (AAIs) for model-predicted dust and comparing them with the observations. Model simulations are conducted for natural topographic depression sources with and without adding sources due to vegetation change and cultivation over North Africa. The simulated AAIs capture the previously reported properties of TOMS AAI as well as observed magnitude and spatial distribution reasonably well, although there are some important disagreements with observations. Statistical analyses of spatial and temporal patterns of simulated AAI suggest that simulations using only the natural topographic source capture the observed patterns better than those using 50% of surface disturbance sources. The AAI gradients between Sahara (north) and Sahel (south) suggest that the best mixture of surface disturbance sources is 20-25%, while spatial and temporal correlations suggest that the optimum mixture is 0-15% with the upper bound of 25-40%. However, sensitivity studies show that uncertainties associated with meteorology and source parameterization are large and may undermine the findings derived from the simulations. Additional uncertainties will arise because of model errors in sources, transport, and deposition. Such uncertainties in the model simulations need to be reduced in order to constrain the roles of different types of dust sources better using AAI simulation.

M. S. Reddy, O. Boucher, N. Bellouin, M. Schulz, Y. Balkanski, J.-L. Dufresne, and M. Pham. Estimates of global multicomponent aerosol optical depth and direct radiative perturbation in the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique general circulation model. Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres), 110:10, May 2005. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

The global cycle of multicomponent aerosols including sulfate, black carbon (BC), organic matter (OM), mineral dust, and sea salt is simulated in the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique general circulation model (LMDZT GCM). The seasonal open biomass burning emissions for simulation years 2000-2001 are scaled from climatological emissions in proportion to satellite detected fire counts. The emissions of dust and sea salt are parameterized online in the model. The comparison of model-predicted monthly mean aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 500 nm with Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) shows good agreement with a correlation coefficient of 0.57(N = 1324) and 76% of data points falling within a factor of 2 deviation. The correlation coefficient for daily mean values drops to 0.49 (N = 23,680). The absorption AOD (τa at 670 nm) estimated in the model is poorly correlated with measurements (r = 0.27, N = 349). It is biased low by 24% as compared to AERONET. The model reproduces the prominent features in the monthly mean AOD retrievals from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The agreement between the model and MODIS is better over source and outflow regions (i.e., within a factor of 2). There is an underestimation of the model by up to a factor of 3 to 5 over some remote oceans. The largest contribution to global annual average AOD (0.12 at 550 nm) is from sulfate (0.043 or 35%), followed by sea salt (0.027 or 23%), dust (0.026 or 22%), OM (0.021 or 17%), and BC (0.004 or 3%). The atmospheric aerosol absorption is predominantly contributed by BC and is about 3% of the total AOD. The globally and annually averaged shortwave (SW) direct aerosol radiative perturbation (DARP) in clear-sky conditions is -2.17 Wm-2 and is about a factor of 2 larger than in all-sky conditions (-1.04 Wm-2). The net DARP (SW + LW) by all aerosols is -1.46 and -0.59 Wm-2 in clear- and all-sky conditions, respectively. Use of realistic, less absorbing in SW, optical properties for dust results in negative forcing over the dust-dominated regions.

M. Haeffelin, L. Barthès, O. Bock, C. Boitel, S. Bony, D. Bouniol, H. Chepfer, M. Chiriaco, J. Cuesta, J. Delanoë, P. Drobinski, J.-L. Dufresne, C. Flamant, M. Grall, A. Hodzic, F. Hourdin, F. Lapouge, Y. Lemaître, A. Mathieu, Y. Morille, C. Naud, V. Noël, W. O'Hirok, J. Pelon, C. Pietras, A. Protat, B. Romand, G. Scialom, and R. Vautard. SIRTA, a ground-based atmospheric observatory for cloud and aerosol research. Annales Geophysicae, 23:253-275, February 2005. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Ground-based remote sensing observatories have a crucial role to play in providing data to improve our understanding of atmospheric processes, to test the performance of atmospheric models, and to develop new methods for future space-borne observations. Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, a French research institute in environmental sciences, created the Site Instrumental de Recherche par Télédétection Atmosphérique (SIRTA), an atmospheric observatory with these goals in mind. Today SIRTA, located 20km south of Paris, operates a suite a state-of-the-art active and passive remote sensing instruments dedicated to routine monitoring of cloud and aerosol properties, and key atmospheric parameters. Detailed description of the state of the atmospheric column is progressively archived and made accessible to the scientific community. This paper describes the SIRTA infrastructure and database, and provides an overview of the scientific research associated with the observatory. Researchers using SIRTA data conduct research on atmospheric processes involving complex interactions between clouds, aerosols and radiative and dynamic processes in the atmospheric column. Atmospheric modellers working with SIRTA observations develop new methods to test their models and innovative analyses to improve parametric representations of sub-grid processes that must be accounted for in the model. SIRTA provides the means to develop data interpretation tools for future active remote sensing missions in space (e.g. CloudSat and CALIPSO). SIRTA observation and research activities take place in networks of atmospheric observatories that allow scientists to access consistent data sets from diverse regions on the globe.

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

Real time LMDZ simulations

Today's LMDZ meteogram for the SIRTA site

Intranet EMC3

Intranet EMC3