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Sense Size-dependent Dust Loading and Emission From Space Using Reflected Solar and Infrared Spectral Measurements: An Observation System Simulation Experiment


The Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) satellite mission observes hyperspectral Earth reflected solar (RS) and emitted infrared radiance (IR). Such measurements span an additional dimension on spectrally dependent scattering and absorption of dust, the critical signals for particle size. Through a suite of observation system simulation experiments (OSSEs), this study assesses the capability of CLARREO's measurements for recovering size-dependent dust emissions in GEOS-Chem chemistry transport model (CTM). To this end, another CTM (Flow-following finite-volume Icosahedral Model-Chem, or FIM-Chem) is used for the nature run to simulate CLARREO spectral radiances. The spectral signals are then used for analyzing the sensitivities and error characteristics of dust optical depth (DOD) under three observations scenarios (IR only, RS only, and combined IR and RS) using an optimal estimation technique. Next, these synthetic data are assimilated into GEOS-Chem adjoint model to constrain dust emissions of four particle sizes with radii from 0.1 μm to 6.0 μm. The OSSEs results indicate (1) the IR spectra are most sensitive to dust of the third size bin (1.8–3.0 μm) and least sensitive to the smallest bin (0.1–1.0 μm); (2) the RS spectra are most sensitive to dust of the smallest size bin and the sensitivity decreases as dust size increases; (3) combining IR and RS spectra can fully characterize DOD across all sizes, providing the best constraints for size-resolved dust emissions; and (4) CLARREO data fail to constrain the spatial distribution of dust sources due to its narrow swath and joint observations from CLARREO-calibrated sensors with wide swath are desirable.

Article / Publication Data
Available Metadata
Accepted On
July 14, 2017
Fiscal Year
Peer Reviewed
Publication Name
Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres
Published On
August 16, 2017
Publisher Name
American Geophysical Union
Print Volume
Print Number
Page Range
Submitted On
February 18, 2017


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