Publication Abstracts

Unger et al. 2009

Unger, N., S. Menon, D.M. Koch, and D.T. Shindell, 2009: Impacts of aerosol-cloud interactions on past and future changes in tropospheric composition. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 4155-4129, doi:10.5194/acp-9-4115-2009.

The development of effective emissions control policies that are beneficial to both climate and air quality requires a detailed understanding of all the feedbacks in the atmospheric composition and climate system. We perform sensitivity studies with a global atmospheric composition-climate model to assess the impact of aerosols on tropospheric chemistry through their modification on clouds, the aerosol indirect effect (AIE). The model includes coupling between both tropospheric gas-phase and aerosol chemistry and aerosols and liquid-phase clouds. We investigate past impacts from preindustrial (PI) to present day (PD) and future impacts from PD to 2050 (for the moderate IPCC A1B scenario) that embrace a wide spectrum of precursor emission changes and consequential aerosol-cloud interactions. The AIE is estimated to be -2.0 W/m2 for PD - PI and -0.6 W/m2 for 2050 - PD, at the high end of current estimates. Inclusion of aerosol-cloud interactions substantially impacts changes in global mean methane lifetime across both time periods, enhancing the past and future increases by 10% and 30%, respectively. In regions where pollution emissions increase, inclusion of aerosol-cloud effects leads to 20% enhancements in in-cloud sulfate production and ∼10% enhancements in sulfate wet deposition that is displaced away from the immediate source regions. The enhanced in-cloud sulfate formation leads to larger increases in surface sulfate across polluted regions (∼10-30%). Nitric acid wet deposition is dampened by 15-20% across the industrialized regions due to AIE allowing additional re-release of reactive nitrogen that contributes to 1-2 ppbv increases in surface ozone in outflow regions. Our model findings indicate that aerosol-cloud interactions must be considered in studies of methane trends and projections of future changes to particulate matter air quality.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Unger, N. and Menon, S. and Koch, D. M. and Shindell, D. T.},
  title={Impacts of aerosol-cloud interactions on past and future changes in tropospheric composition},
  journal={Atmos. Chem. Phys.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - un09000a
AU  - Unger, N.
AU  - Menon, S.
AU  - Koch, D. M.
AU  - Shindell, D. T.
PY  - 2009
TI  - Impacts of aerosol-cloud interactions on past and future changes in tropospheric composition
JA  - Atmos. Chem. Phys.
VL  - 9
SP  - 4155
EP  - 4129
DO  - 10.5194/acp-9-4115-2009
ER  -

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