Investigation of high spectral resolution signatures and radiative forcing of tropospheric aerosol in the thermal infrared
Boer, Gregory Jon
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An investigation of the high spectral resolution signatures and radiative forcing of tropospheric aerosol in the thermal infrared was conducted. To do so and to support advanced modeling of optical properties, a high spectral resolution library of atmospheric aerosol optical constants was developed. This library includes new optical constants of sulfate-nitrate-ammonium aqueous solutions and the collection of a broad range of existing optical constants for aerosol components, particularly mineral optical constants. The mineral optical constants were used to model and study infrared dust optical signatures as a function of composition, size, shape and mixing state. In particular, spherical and non-spherical optical models of dust particles were examined and compared to high spectral resolution laboratory extinction measurements. Then the performance of some of the most common effective medium approximations for internal mixtures was examined by modeling the optical constants of the newly determined sulfate-nitrate-ammonium mixtures. The optical signature analysis was applied to airborne and satellite high spectral resolution thermal infrared radiance data impacted by Saharan dust events. A new technique to retrieve dust microphysical properties from the dust spectral signature was developed and compared to a standard technique. The microphysics retrieved from this new technique and from a standard technique were then used to investigate the effects of dust on radiative forcing and cooling rates in the thermal IR.
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