Intercontinental Pollution and Atmospheric River Transport Processes during the 2016 NOAA El Niño Rapid Response (ENRR) Field Campaign

DSRC entrance

Brad Pierce, NOAA NESDIS Center for SaTellite Applications and Research (STAR) and UW-Madison CIMSS

Thursday, February 23, 2017, 3:30 pm Mountain Time
DSRC 2A305


The primary objective of the NOAA El Niño Rapid Response (ENRR) campaign was to determine the atmospheric response to the major 2015-16 El Niño and its implications for predicting extratropical storms and west coast rainfall. Additional ENRR research objectives focused on long-range transport of aerosols and pollution and aerosol interactions with extratropical cyclones. This talk focuses on the use of NOAA-Unique Combined Atmospheric Processing System (NUCAPS) water vapor and carbon monoxide retrievals, High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) extinction profiles, and Real-time Air Quality Modeling System (RAQMS) chemical and aerosol analyses to investigate intercontinental pollution and Atmospheric River transport processes during the ENRR field campaign. The NUCAPS retrieval system combines infrared radiances from the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) and microwave radiances from the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) onboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite. The UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) HSRL instrument was deployed on Seoul South Korea during the latter part of ENRR and provides constraints on the intercontinental pollution transport near the East Asian source region. RAQMS is a global chemical and aerosol data assimilation and forecasting system developed to predict global air quality. Reverse Domain Filling (RDF) techniques are used to map Lagrangian averaged NUCAPS water vapor and carbon monoxide retrievals onto a high resolution (0.25x0.25degree) uniform grid during the final ENRR transit flight, which occurred on March 10, 2016 and sampled a major Atmospheric River event. RDF mapping is shown to provide a higher resolution depiction of the Atmospheric River and associated intercontinental pollution transport. The NUCAPS RDF mapping results are interpreted using similar Lagrangian diagnostics of the RAQMS chemical and aerosol analysis. The RDF RAQMS results show that Lagrangian mean wind speeds are lower within the "atmospheric river" than the surrounding environment and that Rossby wave breaking and chaotic advection due to large-scale shear deformation can potentially lead to efficient mixing of filaments of moist tropical air and polluted dust from East Asia.
Collaborators: Chris Barnet, Nadia Smith, Antonia Gambacorta (Science and Technology Corporation, STC), Ryan Spackman (STC at NOAA ESRL), Edwin Eloranta (UW-Madison, Space Science and Engineering Center)

Brad Pierce is a physical scientist with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) at the NOAA NESDIS Center for SaTellite Applications and Research (STAR). He has experience in the design, development and execution of global atmospheric models and is the Principal Investigator of RAQMS (Real-time Air Quality Modeling System) – a global meteorological and chemical modeling system for assimilating satellite observations of atmospheric chemical composition and aerosol optical properties and predicting the global distribution of atmospheric trace gases and aerosols. He has used RAQMS to provide chemical and aerosol assimilation and forecasting support for numerous NASA and NOAA field campaigns.

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