Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Solar radiation measurements and their applications in climate research
by Yin, Bangsheng, Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2013, 221; 3595873
Abstract (Summary)

Aerosols and clouds play important roles in the climate system through their radiative effects and their vital link in the hydrological cycle. Accurate measurements of aerosol and cloud optical and microphysical properties are crucial for the study of climate and climate change. This study develops/improves retrieval algorithms for aerosol single scattering albedo (SSA) and low liquid water path (LWP) cloud optical properties, evaluates a new spectrometer, and applies long-term measurements to establish climatology of aerosol and cloud optical properties. The following results were obtained.

(1) The ratio of diffuse horizontal and direct normal fluxes measured from Multifilter Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (MFRSR) has been used to derive the aerosol SSA. Various issues have impacts on the accuracy of SSA retrieval, from measurements (e.g., calibration accuracy, cosine respond correction, and forward scattering correction) to input parameters and assumptions (e.g., asymmetry factor, Rayleigh scattering optical depth, and surface albedo). This study carefully analyzed these issues and extensively assessed their impacts on the retrieval accuracy. Furthermore, the retrievals of aerosol SSA from MFRSR are compared with independent measurements from co-located instruments.

(2) The Thin-Cloud Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (TCRSR) has been used to derive simultaneously the cloud optical depth (COD) and cloud drop effective radius (DER), subsequently inferring the cloud liquid-water path (LWP). The evaluation of the TCRSR indicates that the error of radiometric calibration has limited impact on the cloud DER retrievals. However, the retrieval accuracy of cloud DER is sensitive to the uncertainties of background setting (e.g., aerosol loading and the existence of ice cloud) and the measured solar aureole shape.

(3) A new high resolution oxygen A-band spectrometer (HABS) has been developed, which has the ability to measure both direct-beam and zenith diffuse solar radiation with polarization capability. The HABS exhibits excellent performance: stable spectral response ratio, high SNR, high spectrum resolution (0.16 nm), and high Out-of-Band Rejection (10-5). The HABS measured spectra and polarization spectra are basically consistent with the related simulated spectra. The main difference between them occurs at or near the strong oxygen absorption line centers. Furthermore, our study demonstrates that it is a good method to derive the degree of polarization-oxygen absorption optical depth (DOP-k) relationship through a polynomial fitting in the DOP-k space.

(4) The long-term MFRSR measurements at Darwin (Australia), Nauru (Nauru), and Manus (Papua New Guinea) sites have been processed to develop the climatology of aerosols and clouds in the Tropical Warm Pool (TWP) region at the interannual, seasonal, and diurnal temporal scales. Due to the association of these three sites with large-scale circulation patterns, aerosol and cloud properties exhibit distinctive characteristics. The cloud optical depth (COD) and cloud fraction (CF) exhibit apparent increasing trends from 1998 to 2007 and decreasing trends after 2007. The monthly anomaly values, to some extent, are bifurcately correlated with SOI, depending on the phase of ENSO. At the two oceanic sites of Manus and Nauru, aerosols, clouds, and precipitation are modulated by the meteorological changes associated with MJO events.

(5) The long-term measurements at Barrow and Atqasuk sites also have been processed to develop the climatology of aerosol and cloud properties in the North Slope of Alaska (NSA) region at interannual, seasonal, and diurnal temporal scales. Due to Arctic climate warming, at these two sites, the snow melting day arrives earlier and the non-snow-cover duration increases. Aerosol optical depth (AOD) increased during the periods of 2001-2003 and 2005-2009, and decreased during 2003-2005. The LWP, COD, and CF exhibit apparently decreasing trends from 2002 to 2007 and increased significantly after 2008. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Min, Qilong
Commitee: Harrison, Lee, Idone, Vincent P., Keesee, Robert G., Min, Qilong
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Earth and Atmospheric Sciences-Athmospheric Science
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 75/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Atmospheric sciences
Keywords: Climatology, Cloud-radiation feedback, North slope of alaska, Single scattering albedo, Thin liquid water cloud, Tropical warm pool
Publication Number: 3595873
ISBN: 9781303421204
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