-> Aerosol Comparisons between Observations and Models



The AEROCOM-project is an open international initiative of scientists interested in the advancement of the understanding of the global aerosol and its impact on climate. A large number of observations (including MODIS, POLDER, MISR, AVHHR, SEAWIFS, TOMS, AERONET and surface concentrations) and results from more than 14 global models have been assembled to document and compare state of the art modeling of the global aerosol. A common protocol has been established and models are asked to make use of the AEROCOM emission inventories for the year 2000 and preindustrial times. Results are documented via interactive websites which give access to 2D fields and standard comparisons to observations. Regular workshops are held to discuss findings and future directions.


Multi-component aerosol modules in global models promise a much needed better seasonal and regional characterization of aerosol. However, the added complexity may have introduced many (potentially offsetting) errors. Thus, a rigorous validation effort is needed. Initial comparisons model evaluation efforts to remote sensing data (e.g. Kinne et al and Penner et al) illustrated the need for more detailed comparisons. Only a much expanded model output will permit process studies, like pioneering comparisons of near surface sulfate mass (COSAM). This study also indicated that unwanted difficulties arise from differences in model initialization (e.g. source strength or meteorology). Concepts of a new model-intercomparison and model-evaluation effort were discussed during IAMAP 2001 and introduced to modelers or interested by-standers during IGAC 2002. A driving force behind the new inter-comparison is availability of more accurate aerosol products from satellite, a tighter ground network of aerosol measurements and a multitude of results from field experiments.

is an international
science initiative
on aerosols and climate

supported by
EU Framework programmes

Norw. Met Office
Max-Planck Ges.
French CNES