01 Nov 2023
 | 01 Nov 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Intercomparison of Aerosol Optical Depths from four reanalyses and their multi-reanalysis-consensus

Peng Xian, Jeffrey S. Reid, Melanie Ades, Angela Benedettie, Peter R. Colarco, Arlindo da Silva, Tom F. Eck, Johannes Flemming, Edward J. Hyer, Zak Kipling, Samuel Rémy, Tsuyoshi Thomas Sekiyama, Taichu Tanaka, Keiya Yumimoto, and Jianglong Zhang

Abstract. The emergence of aerosol reanalyses in recent years has facilitated a comprehensive and systematic evaluation of Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) trends and attribution over multi-decadal timescales. Notable aerosol reanalyses currently available include NAAPS-RA from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory; the NASA MERRA-2; JRAero from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA); and CAMSRA from Copernicus/ECMWF. These aerosol reanalyses are based on differing underlying meteorology models, representations of aerosol processes, and data assimilation methods and treatment of AOD observations. This study presents the basic verification characteristics of these four reanalyses versus both AERONET and MODIS retrievals in monthly AOD properties and identifies the strength of each reanalysis and the regions where diversity and challenges are prominent. Regions with high pollution and often mixed fine-coarse mode aerosol environments such as South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Maritime Continent pose significant challenges, as indicated by higher monthly AOD root mean square error. Moreover, regions that are distant from major aerosol source areas, including the polar regions, and remote oceans exhibit large relative differences in speciated AODs and fine-mode vs coarse-mode AODs among the four reanalyses. To ensure consistency across the globe, a multi-reanalysis-consensus (MRC) approach was developed similar to the International Cooperative for Aerosol Prediction Multi-Model Ensemble (ICAP-MME). Like the ICAP-MME, while the MRC does not consistently rank first among the reanalyses for individual regions, it performs well by ranking first or second globally in AOD correlation and RMSE, making it a suitable candidate for climate studies that require robust and consistent assessments.  

Peng Xian et al.

Status: open (until 14 Jan 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Peng Xian et al.


Total article views: 257 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
176 72 9 257 18 5 6
  • HTML: 176
  • PDF: 72
  • XML: 9
  • Total: 257
  • Supplement: 18
  • BibTeX: 5
  • EndNote: 6
Views and downloads (calculated since 01 Nov 2023)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 01 Nov 2023)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 257 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 257 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 06 Dec 2023
Short summary
The study compares and evaluates the monthly aerosol optical depth of four reanalyses (RA) and their consensus. The basic verification characteristics of these RA versus both AERONET and MODIS retrievals are presented. The study discusses the strength of each RA and identifies regions where diversity and challenges are prominent. The RA consensus usually performs very well on a global scale in terms of how well it matches the observational data, making it a good choice for various applications.