DOI: 10.1002/joc.8324 ISSN: 0899-8418

Aerosol characteristics in CMIP6 models' global simulations and their evaluation with the satellite measurements

Jaisankar Bharath, Tumuluru Venkata Lakshmi Kumar, Vanda Salgueiro, Maria João Costa, Rajesh Kumar Mall
  • Atmospheric Science


Global and regional trends of the Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) Phase 6 simulations for the study period 1971–2014 were compared against the satellite retrievals and the intermodel variations were analysed. The AOD from multimodel mean (MMM) of eight general circulation models (GCMs) has been evaluated against the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Multi‐angle Imaging Spectro Radiometer (MISR) AOD for the 2001–2014 period. Angstrom exponents (AE and its first derivative) that represent the size distribution of aerosols are estimated globally from the perturbed initial condition ensemble of MRI‐ESM2‐0 and MPI‐ESM‐1‐2‐HAM models to report the aerosol variations through their size distribution. We found that the global AOD obtained from the MMM8 showed an insignificant decreasing trend, while this trend is significantly positive over the northern tropical region. The MMM8 has overestimated the MODIS AOD over North Africa, India, China, and Australia while this overestimation is confined to North Africa and eastern China when compared against MISR AOD. The absolute percent bias of MMM8 is 28.1% and 24.1% over the globe when compared against MODIS and MISR AOD, respectively. The spatial pattern of AE showed the dominance of fine‐ and coarse‐mode particles during the boreal/austral winter and summer seasons, respectively, that replicate the seasonality of aerosols. The AE derived from MPI‐ESM‐1‐2‐HR demonstrated better agreement with AATSR SU's (Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer instrument series, with the algorithm developed by Swansea University) AE (550–870 nm). On the other hand, MRI‐ESM2‐0 consistently underestimated AE across different regions and wavelength ranges, suggesting an over representation of larger aerosol particles in the model's portrayal of aerosol size distribution compared to satellite observations.

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