Submitted as: development and technical paper 02 Nov 2021

Submitted as: development and technical paper | 02 Nov 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Estimating aerosol emission from SPEXone on the NASA PACE mission using an ensemble Kalman Smoother: Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs)

Athanasios Tsikerdekis1,2, Nick A. J. Schutgens2, Guangliang Fu1, and Otto P. Hasekamp1 Athanasios Tsikerdekis et al.
  • 1SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Leiden, the Netherlands
  • 2Department of Earth Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Abstract. We present a top-down approach for aerosol emission estimation from SPEXone polarimetric retrievals related to the aerosol amount, size, and absorption using a fixed-lag ensemble Kalman smoother (LETKS) in combination with the ECHAM-HAM model. We assess the system by performing Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs), in order to evaluate the ability of the future multi-angle polarimeter instrument, SPEXone, as well as a satellite with near perfect global coverage. In our OSSEs, the Nature Run (NAT) is a simulation by the global climate aerosol model ECHAM-HAM with altered aerosol emissions. The Control (CTL) and the data assimilation (DAS) experiments are composed of an ensemble of ECHAM-HAM simulations, where the default aerosol emissions are perturbed with factors taken from a Gaussian distribution. Synthetic observations, specifically Aerosol Optical Depth at 550 nm (AOD550), Angstrom Exponent from 550 nm to 865 nm (AE550-865) and Single Scattering Albedo at 550 nm (SSA550) are assimilated in order to estimate the aerosol emission fluxes of desert dust (DU), sea salt (SS), organic carbon (OC), black carbon (BC) and sulphate (SO4), along with the emission fluxes of two SO4 precursor gases (SO2, DMS). The synthetic observations are sampled from the NAT according to two satellite observing systems, with different spatial coverages. The first is the sensor SPEXone, a hyperspectral multi-angle polarimeter with a narrow swath (~100 km), that will be a part of the NASA PACE mission. The second is an idealized sensor that can retrieve observations over the whole globe even under cloudy conditions. The prior emission global relative Mean Absolute Error (MAE) before the assimilation ranges from 33 % to 117 %. Depending on the species, the assimilated observations sampled using the idealized sensor, reduce this error to equal to or lower than 5 %. Despite its limited coverage, the SPEXone sampling bares similar results, with somewhat larger errors for DU and SS (both having a MAE equal to 11 %). Further, experiments show that doubling the measurement error, increases the global relative MAE to 22 % for DU and SS. The emission estimation of the other species is not affected as much by these changes. In addition, the role of biased meteorology on emission estimation was quantified by using two different datasets (ERA-5 and ERA-interim) to nudge the U and V wind components of the model. The results reveal that when the wind of DAS uses a different reanalysis dataset than the NAT the estimated SS emissions are negatively affected the most, while the estimated emissions of DU, OC, BC and SO2 are negatively affected to a smaller extent. If the DAS uses dust or sea salt emission parametrisations that are very different from the NAT, posterior emissions can still be successfully estimated but this experiment revealed that the source location is important for the estimation of dust emissions. This work suggests that the upcoming SPEXone sensor will provide observations related to aerosol amount, size and absorption with sufficient coverage and accuracy, in order to estimate aerosol emissions.

Athanasios Tsikerdekis et al.

Status: open (until 28 Dec 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CEC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-288', Juan Antonio Añel, 19 Nov 2021 reply

Athanasios Tsikerdekis et al.

Athanasios Tsikerdekis et al.


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Short summary
In our study we quantify the ability of the future satellite sensor SPEXone, part of the NASA PACE mission, to estimate aerosol emissions. The sensor will be able to retrieve accurate information of aerosol light extinction and most importantly light absorption. We simulate SPEXone spatial coverage and combine it with an aerosol model. We found that SPEXone will be able to estimate species-specific (e.g. dust, sea salt, organic/black carbon, sulfates) aerosol emissions very accurately.