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Wednesday 31 Mar 2021Using satellite measurements to understand and improve aerosol models

Dr Nick Schutgens (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) -

Zoom 13:30-14:30

Remote sensing datasets are the only global datasets for evaluating global aerosol models. Their use requires understanding the inherent uncertainties in aerosol remote sensing and the uncertainties due to their spatio-temporal sampling.

Limitations of the sparse ground truth (AERONET) are identified and systematic intercomparisons of satellite datasets are used to overcome these. E.g., the spread in an ensemble of satellite datasets can be used as estimate of the local satellite bias. Ensembles become especially important when the ground truth is very sparse and has large uncertainties as is the case for absorbing aerosol optical depth (AAOD).

Observing System Simulation Experiments are conducted to identify proper strategies for evaluating models with observations. Practical examples will be provided from recent work on the evaluation of biomass burning aerosol in AEROCOM models, and the assimilation of retrievals of absorbing aerosol from multi-angle polarized satellite measurements, highlighting limitations and opportunities provided by the current satellite datasets.


Originally an astrophysicist, Nick Schutgens has worked at the Dutch Met Office (KNMI), NICT (Tokyo), and at the universities of Tokyo and Oxford. Since his stay in Japan, his main scientific interest has been aerosol. He currently works at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where he leads a small team working on the application of remote sensing data to aerosol model evaluation and improvements.

Join the Zoom meeting:

Meeting ID: 947 4836 1784

Password: 887660

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