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Global Aerosol Radiative Forcing Derived from Sea WiFS-Inferred Aerosol Optical PropertiesAerosol optical properties inferred from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) radiance measurements are used to compute the aerosol shortwave radiative forcing using a radiative transfer model. The aerosol optical thickness at the wavelength of 865-nm is taken from the SeaWIFS archive. It is found that the nominal optical thickness over oceans ranges from 0.1 to 0.2. Using a maritime aerosol model and the radiances measured at the various SeaWiFS channels, the Angstrom exponent is determined to be 0.2174, the single-scattering albedo to be 0.995, and the asymmetry factor to be 0.786. The radiative transfer model has eight bands in the visible and ultraviolet spectral regions and three bands in the near infrared. It includes the absorption due to aerosols, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and oxygen, and the scattering due to aerosols and gases (Rayleigh scattering). The radiative forcing is computed over global oceans for four months (January, April, July, and October, 1998) to represent four seasons. It is found that the aerosol radiative forcing is large and changes significantly with seasons near the continents with large-scale forest fires and desert dust. Averaged over oceans and the four months, the aerosol radiative forcing is approximately 7 W/sq m at the top of the atmosphere. This large radiative forcing is expected to have a significant cooling effect on the Earth's climate as implied from simulations of a number of general circulation models.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Chou, Ming-Dah
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Chan, Pui-King
(Universities Space Research Association Seabrook, MD United States)
Wang, Menghua
(Maryland Univ. Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1999
Subject Category
Environment Pollution
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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