Tuesday, December 15, 2009

AGU Fall Meeting 2009 – Day 1 – Aerosols Talks and Poster

Well, as usual, the first day of the AGU meeting was very hectic, running around the sessions. All of the posters on aerosols had overwhelmingly important and interesting research. I had a poster in data fusion session where I presented aerosols optical depth products inter-comparison from multiple sensors during a field campaign in Saharan desert. I had a good discussion with Omar and Hiren about improvement in OMI aerosol product after introducing more spectral dependence of absorption. Jethva also had a poster, which demonstrated this new improved product for smoke aerosols. Lorraine Remer from GSFC presented a poster on possible inclusion of PARASOL and CALIPSO data sets into future MODIS aerosols product files. It will be very useful to have PARASOL AODs within MODIS files, which is more sensitive to fine mode aerosols. There was also a poster by Y. Shi along with Jeff Reid and J. Zhang analyzing uncertainties in MODIS and MISR over global regions and ways of correcting it for aerosols data assimilation into NAAPS.  There was also a poster by Salustro showing validation of Deep Blue product over bight targets. According to Salustro, Deep Blue will be available for all cases starting collection 6 MODIS data sets. I like the talk by Jeff Reid talking about considering various biases while utilizing multi sensor satellite data sets for assimilation and climate applications.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What is Carbon Trading?

Well, this is not exactly the aerosol related post. However, reducing carbon dioxide by incorporating newer technology will have side effect (of cause good) of reducing atmospheric aerosols, after all aerosols and carbon dioxide have more less similar source namely vehicular emissions, coal based power plants, etc. However, million dollar question is how society plans to pursue people and industry for reducing carbon dioxide emissions at global scale. One of the ways, politicians and economist come-up with is carbon trading. What is carbon trading? Can it achieve its stated objective? There are different opinions about it. Let us see one of the opinions in this video. Do you remember movie "Story of the Stuff", if yes then well this video is from same people.

The Story of Cap & Trade from Story of Stuff Project on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Potential impact of U.S. biofuels on regional climate

Recently, I came across this nice article published in JGR, which talks about impact of using biofuels on regional climate in the United States. The debate on using biofuels for future energy needs is on.

Abstract reads as

Recent work has shown that current bio-energy policy directives may have harmful, indirect consequences, affecting both food security and the global climate system. An additional unintended but direct effect of large-scale biofuel production is the impact on local and regional climate resulting from changes in the energy and moisture balance of the surface upon conversion to biofuel crops. Using the latest version of the WRF modeling system we conducted twenty-four, midsummer, continental-wide, sensitivity experiments by imposing realistic biophysical parameter limits appropriate for bio-energy crops in the Corn Belt of the United States. In the absence of strain/crop-specific parameterizations, a primary goal of this work was to isolate the maximum regional climate impact, for a trio of individual July months, due to land-use change resulting from bio-energy crops and to identify the relative importance of each biophysical parameter in terms of its individual effect. Maximum, local changes in 2 m temperature of the order of 1°C occur for the full breadth of albedo (ALB), minimum canopy resistance (RCMIN), and rooting depth (ROOT) specifications, while the regionally (105°W–75°W and 35°N–50°N) and monthly averaged response of 2 m temperature was most pronounced for the ALB and RCMIN experiments, exceeding 0.2°C. The full range of albedo variability associated with biofuel crops may be sufficient to drive regional changes in summertime rainfall. Individual parameter effects on 2 m temperature are additive, highlight the cooling contribution of higher leaf area index (LAI) and ROOT for perennial grasses (e.g., Miscanthus) versus annual crops (e.g., maize), and underscore the necessity of improving location- and vegetation-specific representation of RCMIN and ALB”

Complete Reference

Georgescu, M., D. B. Lobell, and C. B. Field (2009), Potential impact of U.S. biofuels on regional climate, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L21806, doi:10.1029/2009GL040477.

Read about different aspects of biofuels


Friday, October 30, 2009

Satellite Observation of Fires in Indian Oil Depot

India Oil Depot caught fire on October 29, 2009 at around 7:30 pm local time. This depot is located about 10 miles south of the Indian pink city Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan. Fire is so massive that the entire area is covered by black smoke clouds. Smoke and haze are visible up to 16 miles away from the fire location. This image is taken by NASA’s MODIS onboard EOS Aqua satellite on October 30, 2009 during its pass over India.

Original data for the image is taken from NASA’s MODIS Rapid Fire System and processed at University of Alabama in Huntsville, AL.

For more news on fire


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Online Open Access Earth Science Journal – Blog Action Day Post

Earth and Information technology scientists at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and at the Caelum Research Corporation, Rockville introduced a new online free access earth science journal, where short articles discussing various earth science phenomena can be published. The journal is open to everybody including students, researcher and scientists. I would recommend earth science students who would like to start on publishing their work, JESP is great place to start. It does not take lot of efforts to compose article for this journal, but make sure contains of article are scientifically sound.

Below is description as given on their webpage.

“Journal of Earth Science Phenomena (JESP) is an open access journal aimed at publishing micro-articles cataloging interesting and unique phenomena that are observed in Earth science data. The primary aim of this journal is not to report a detailed scientific analysis, but to promote further enquiry, document unique phenomena, assist educational activities and compile the information in a manner that is both searchable and citable. The online nature of the journal also provide for including geographic context, linkages to other geospatial information through Google Earth Technology and also explicit references to online databases where such information could be retrieved.”

Blog Action Day Post

Link to the journal


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Remote Sensing of Particulate Pollution: Satellite Prospective

Satellite remote sensing of particulate matter air pollution has shown tremendous potential for air quality monitoring over global regions with advancement in research and application over very short period of less than a decade. Recently, Air & Waste Management Association (AWMA) conducted a critical review of research on particle air quality monitoring from satellite observations. Critical review is conducted by experts in the field Ray Hoff from UMBC and Sundar A. Christopher from UAHuntsville.

The Abstract reads as

The recent literature on satellite remote sensing of air quality is reviewed. 2009 is the 50th anniversary of the first satellite atmospheric observations. For the first 40 of those years, atmospheric composition measurements, meteorology, and atmospheric structure and dynamics dominated the missions launched. Since 1995, 42 instruments relevant to air quality measurements have been put into orbit. Trace gases such as ozone, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, water, oxygen/tetraoxygen, bromine oxide, sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde, glyoxal, chlorine dioxide, chlorine monoxide, and nitrate radical have been measured in the stratosphere and troposphere in column measurements. Aerosol optical depth (AOD) is a focus of this review and a significant body of literature exists that shows that ground-level fine particulate matter (PM2.5) can be estimated from columnar AOD. Precision of the measurement of AOD is _20% and the prediction of PM2.5 from AOD is order _30% in the most careful studies. The air quality needs that can use such predictions are examined. Satellite measurements are important to event detection, transport and model prediction, and emission estimation. It is suggested that ground-based measurements, models, and satellite measurements should be viewed as a system, each component of which is necessary to better understand air quality.

Complete Reference

Hoff, R., S.A. Christopher, Remote Sensing of Particualte Matter Air Pollution from Space : Have we reached the promised land, J. Air&Waste Manage. Assoc., 59:642-675, 2009.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Climate Uncertainty and Air Quality

Interesting article on impact of climate uncertainty on regional air quality appeared in ACP earlier this year. Model simulations of the extreme climate scenarios are found to have moderate effect on predicted emissions of VOC and ozone concentration in year 2050.


Uncertainties in calculated impacts of climate forecasts on future regional air quality are investigated using downscaled MM5 meteorological fields from the NASA GISS and MIT IGSM global models and the CMAQ model in 2050 in the continental US. Differences between three future scenarios: high-extreme, low-extreme and base case, are used for quantifying effects of climate uncertainty on regional air quality. GISS, with the IPCC A1B scenario, is used for the base case simulations. IGSM results, in the form of probabilistic distributions, are used to perturb the base case climate to provide the high- and low-extreme scenarios. Impacts of the extreme climate scenarios on concentrations of summertime fourth-highest daily maximum 8-h average ozone are predicted to be up to 10 ppbV (about one-seventh of the current US ozone standard of 75 ppbV) in urban areas of the Northeast, Midwest and Texas due to impacts of meteorological changes, especially temperature and humidity, on the photochemistry of tropospheric ozone formation and increases in biogenic VOC emissions, though the differences in average peak ozone concentrations are about 1–2 ppbV on a regional basis. Differences between the extreme and base scenarios in annualized PM2.5 levels are very location dependent and predicted to range between −1.0 and +1.5μgm−3. Future annualized PM2.5 is less sensitive to the extreme climate scenarios than summertime peak ozone since precipitation scavenging is only slightly affected by the extreme climate scenarios examined. Relative abundances of biogenic VOC and anthropogenic NOx lead to the areas that are most responsive to climate change. Overall, planned controls for decreasing regional ozone and PM2.5 levels will continue be effective in the future under the extreme climate scenarios. However, the impact of climate uncertainties may be substantial in some urban areas and should be included in assessing future regional air quality and emission control requirements.

Complete Reference

Liao, K. J.; Tagaris, E.; Manomaiphiboon, K.; Wang, C.; Woo, J.H.; Amar, P.; He, S.; Russell, A. G. , Quantification of the impact of climate uncertainty on regional air quality, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Volume 9, Issue 3, 2009, pp.865-878

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Evaluating Particulate Matter Air Quality with Surface and Space-Borne Measurements

The special session on "A40: Evaluating Particulate Matter Air Quality with Surface and Space-Borne Measurements" is planned during coming fall AGU Meeting in San Francisco, 14-18 December, 2009. Following is the link for more details on session description.


Abstract submission is open now and last date is September 3, 2009.

we would like to invite you all to contribute to the session by submitting an abstract. Please forward this information to your colleagues and students.

Following link provides guidelines to submit the abstract.

Thanks and hope to see your abstract soon in AGU system.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Cloud Makers - A video about effect of aerosols on cloud

I found a very interesting video about effects of aerosols on clouds and how the GLORY mission of NASA going to address this problem. Click on the image or the link below to view the video.

Microscopic image of aerosols

Play video "The Cloud Makers"

Image courtesy: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center