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The vertical aerosol type distribution above Israel – 2 years of lidar observations at the coastal city of Haifa

2022, Heese, Birgit, Floutsi, Athena Augusta, Baars, Holger, Althausen, Dietrich, Hofer, Julian, Herzog, Alina, Mewes, Silke, Radenz, Martin, Schechner, Yoav Y.

For the first time, vertically resolved long-term lidar measurements of the aerosol distribution were conducted in Haifa, Israel. The measurements were performed by a PollyXT multi-wavelength Raman and polarization lidar. The lidar was measuring continuously over a 2-year period from March 2017 to May 2019. The resulting data set is a series of manually evaluated lidar optical property profiles. To identify the aerosol types in the observed layers, a novel aerosol typing method that was developed at TROPOS is used. This method applies optimal estimation to a combination of lidar-derived intensive aerosol properties to determine the statistically most-likely contribution per aerosol component in terms of relative volume. A case study that shows several elevated aerosol layers illustrates this method and shows, for example, that coarse dust particles are observed up to 5ĝ€¯km height over Israel. From the whole data set, the seasonal distribution of the observed aerosol components over Israel is derived. Throughout all seasons, coarse spherical particles like sea salt and hygroscopically grown continental aerosol were observed. These particles originate from continental Europe and were transported over the Mediterranean Sea. Sea-salt particles were observed frequently due to the coastal site of Haifa. The highest contributions of coarse spherical particles are present in summer, autumn, and winter. During spring, mostly coarse non-spherical particles that are attributed to desert dust were observed. This is consistent with the distinct dust season in spring in Israel. An automated time-height-resolved air mass source attribution method identifies the origin of the dust in the Sahara and the Arabian deserts. Fine-mode spherical particles contribute significantly to the observed aerosol mixture during all seasons. These particles originate mainly from the industrial region at the bay of Haifa.

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Extreme levels of Canadian wildfire smoke in the stratosphere over central Europe on 21-22 August 2017

2018, Ansmann, Albert, Baars, Holger, Chudnovsky, Alexandra, Mattis, Ina, Veselovskii, Igor, Haarig, Moritz, Seifert, Patric, Engelmann, Ronny, Wandinger, Ulla

Light extinction coefficients of 500 Mm1, about 20 times higher than after the Pinatubo volcanic eruptions in 1991, were observed by European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) lidars in the stratosphere over central Europe on 21-22 August 2017. Pronounced smoke layers with a 1-2 km vertical extent were found 2-5 km above the local tropopause. Optically dense layers of Canadian wildfire smoke reached central Europe 10 days after their injection into the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere which was caused by rather strong pyrocumulonimbus activity over western Canada. The smoke-related aerosol optical thickness (AOT) identified by lidar was close to 1.0 at 532 nm over Leipzig during the noon hours on 22 August 2017. Smoke particles were found throughout the free troposphere (AOT of 0.3) and in the pronounced 2 km thick stratospheric smoke layer at an altitude of 14-16 km (AOT of 0.6). The lidar observations indicated peak mass concentrations of 70-100 μgm-3 in the stratosphere. In addition to the lidar profiles, we analyzed Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) fire radiative power (FRP) over Canada, and the distribution of MODIS AOT and Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) aerosol index across the North Atlantic. These instruments showed a similar pattern and a clear link between the western Canadian fires and the aerosol load over Europe. In this paper, we also present Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) sun photometer observations, compare photometer and lidar-derived AOT, and discuss an obvious bias (the smoke AOT is too low) in the photometer observations. Finally, we compare the strength of this recordbreaking smoke event (in terms of the particle extinction coefficient and AOT) with major and moderate volcanic events observed over the northern midlatitudes.

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Airborne observations of newly formed boundary layer aerosol particles under cloudy conditions

2018, Altstädter, Barbara, Platis, Andreas, Jähn, Michael, Baars, Holger, Lückerath, Janine, Held, Andreas, Lampert, Astrid, Bange, Jens, Hermann, Markus, Wehner, Birgit

This study describes the appearance of ultrafine boundary layer aerosol particles under classical “non-favourable” conditions at the research site of TROPOS (Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research). Airborne measurements of meteorological and aerosol properties of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) were repeatedly performed with the unmanned aerial system ALADINA (Application of Light-weight Aircraft for Detecting IN-situ Aerosol) during three seasons between October 2013 and July 2015. More than 100 measurement flights were conducted on 23 different days with a total flight duration of 53 h. In 26 % of the cases, maxima of ultrafine particles were observed close to the inversion layer at altitudes between 400 and 600 m and the particles were rapidly mixed vertically and mainly transported downwards during short time intervals of cloud gaps. This study focuses on two measurement days affected by low-level stratocumulus clouds, but different wind directions (NE, SW) and minimal concentrations (< 4.6 µg m−3) of SO2, as a common indicator for precursor gases at ground. Taken from vertical profiles, the onset of clouds led to a non-linearity of humidity that resulted in an increased turbulence at the local-scale and caused fast nucleation (e.g. Bigg, 1997; Wehner et al., 2010), but in relation to rapid dilution of surrounding air, seen in sporadic clusters of ground data, so that ultrafine particles disappeared in the verticality. The typical “banana shape” (Heintzenberg et al., 2007) of new particle formation (NPF) and growth was not seen at ground and thus these days might not have been classified as NPF event days by pure surface studies.

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Application of the shipborne remote sensing supersite OCEANET for profiling of Arctic aerosols and clouds during Polarstern cruise PS106

2020, Griesche, Hannes J., Seifer, Patric, Ansmann, Albert, Baars, Holger, Velasco, Carola Barrientos, Bühl, Johannes, Engelmann, Ronny, Radenz, Martin, Zhenping, Yin, Macke, Andreas

From 25 May to 21 July 2017, the research vessel Polarstern performed the cruise PS106 to the high Arctic in the region north and northeast of Svalbard. The mobile remote-sensing platform OCEANET was deployed aboard Polarstern. Within a single container, OCEANET houses state-of-the-art remote-sensing equipment, including a multiwavelength Raman polarization lidar PollyXT and a 14-channel microwave radiometer HATPRO (Humidity And Temperature PROfiler). For the cruise PS106, the measurements were supplemented by a motion-stabilized 35 GHz cloud radar Mira-35. This paper describes the treatment of technical challenges which were immanent during the deployment of OCEANET in the high Arctic. This includes the description of the motion stabilization of the cloud radar Mira-35 to ensure vertical-pointing observations aboard the moving Polarstern as well as the applied correction of the vessels heave rate to provide valid Doppler velocities. The correction ensured a leveling accuracy of ±0.5◦ during transits through the ice and an ice floe camp. The applied heave correction reduced the signal induced by the vertical movement of the cloud radar in the PSD of the Doppler velocity by a factor of 15. Low-level clouds, in addition, frequently prevented a continuous analysis of cloud conditions from synergies of lidar and radar within Cloudnet, because the technically determined lowest detection height of Mira-35 was 165 m above sea level. To overcome this obstacle, an approach for identification of the cloud presence solely based on data from the near-field receiver of PollyXT at heights from 50 m and 165 m above sea level is presented. We found low-level stratus clouds, which were below the lowest detection range of most automatic ground-based remote-sensing instruments during 25 % of the observation time. We present case studies of aerosol and cloud studies to introduce the capabilities of the data set. In addition, new approaches for ice crystal effective radius and eddy dissipation rates from cloud radar measurements and the retrieval of aerosol optical and microphysical properties from the observations of PollyXT are introduced. © Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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EARLINET instrument intercomparison campaigns: Overview on strategy and results

2016, Wandinger, Ulla, Freudenthaler, Volker, Baars, Holger, Amodeo, Aldo, Engelmann, Ronny, Mattis, Ina, Groß, Silke, Pappalardo, Gelsomina, Giunta, Aldo, D'Amico, Giuseppe, Chaikovsky, Anatoli, Osipenko, Fiodor, Slesar, Alexander, Nicolae, Doina, Belegante, Livio, Talianu, Camelia, Serikov, Ilya, Linné, Holger, Jansen, Friedhelm, Apituley, Arnoud, Wilson, Keith M., de Graaf, Martin, Trickl, Thomas, Giehl, Helmut, Adam, Mariana, Comerón, Adolfo, Muñoz-Porcar, Constantino, Rocadenbosch, Francesc, Sicard, Michaël, Tomás, Sergio, Lange, Diego, Kumar, Dhiraj, Pujadas, Manuel, Molero, Francisco, Fernández, Alfonso J., Alados-Arboledas, Lucas, Bravo-Aranda, Juan Antonio, Navas-Guzmán, Francisco, Guerrero-Rascado, Juan Luis, Granados-Muñoz, María José, Preißler, Jana, Wagner, Frank, Gausa, Michael, Grigorov, Ivan, Stoyanov, Dimitar, Iarlori, Marco, Rizi, Vincenco, Spinelli, Nicola, Boselli, Antonella, Wang, Xuan, Feudo, Teresa Lo, Perrone, Maria Rita, De Tomas, Ferdinando, Burlizzi, Pasquale

This paper introduces the recent European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) quality-assurance efforts at instrument level. Within two dedicated campaigns and five single-site intercomparison activities, 21 EARLINET systems from 18 EARLINET stations were intercompared between 2009 and 2013. A comprehensive strategy for campaign setup and data evaluation has been established. Eleven systems from nine EARLINET stations participated in the EARLINET Lidar Intercomparison 2009 (EARLI09). In this campaign, three reference systems were qualified which served as traveling standards thereafter. EARLINET systems from nine other stations have been compared against these reference systems since 2009. We present and discuss comparisons at signal and at product level from all campaigns for more than 100 individual measurement channels at the wavelengths of 355, 387, 532, and 607 nm. It is shown that in most cases, a very good agreement of the compared systems with the respective reference is obtained. Mean signal deviations in predefined height ranges are typically below ±2 %. Particle backscatter and extinction coefficients agree within ±2  ×  10−4 km−1 sr−1 and ± 0.01 km−1, respectively, in most cases. For systems or channels that showed larger discrepancies, an in-depth analysis of deficiencies was performed and technical solutions and upgrades were proposed and realized. The intercomparisons have reinforced confidence in the EARLINET data quality and allowed us to draw conclusions on necessary system improvements for some instruments and to identify major challenges that need to be tackled in the future.

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Target categorization of aerosol and clouds by continuous multiwavelength-polarization lidar measurements

2017, Baars, Holger, Seifert, Patric, Engelmann, Ronny, Wandinger, Ulla

Absolute calibrated signals at 532 and 1064 nm and the depolarization ratio from a multiwavelength lidar are used to categorize primary aerosol but also clouds in high temporal and spatial resolution. Automatically derived particle backscatter coefficient profiles in low temporal resolution (30 min) are applied to calibrate the lidar signals. From these calibrated lidar signals, new atmospheric parameters in temporally high resolution (quasi-particle-backscatter coefficients) are derived. By using thresholds obtained from multiyear, multisite EARLINET (European Aerosol Research Lidar Network) measurements, four aerosol classes (small; large, spherical; large, non-spherical; mixed, partly nonspherical) and several cloud classes (liquid, ice) are defined. Thus, particles are classified by their physical features (shape and size) instead of by source. The methodology is applied to 2 months of continuous observations (24 h a day, 7 days a week) with the multiwavelength-Raman-polarization lidar PollyXT during the High-Definition Clouds and Precipitation for advancing Climate Prediction (HD(CP)2) Observational Prototype Experiment (HOPE) in spring 2013. Cloudnet equipment was operated continuously directly next to the lidar and is used for comparison. By discussing three 24 h case studies, it is shown that the aerosol discrimination is very feasible and informative and gives a good complement to the Cloudnet target categorization. Performing the categorization for the 2-month data set of the entire HOPE campaign, almost 1 million pixel (5 min×30 m) could be analysed with the newly developed tool. We find that the majority of the aerosol trapped in the planetary boundary layer (PBL) was composed of small particles as expected for a heavily populated and industrialized area. Large, spherical aerosol was observed mostly at the top of the PBL and close to the identified cloud bases, indicating the importance of hygroscopic growth of the particles at high relative humidity. Interestingly, it is found that on several days non-spherical particles were dispersed from the ground into the atmosphere.

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Ice nucleating particles over the Eastern Mediterranean measured by unmanned aircraft systems

2017, Schrod, Jann, Weber, Daniel, Drücke, Jaqueline, Keleshis, Christos, Pikridas, Michael, Ebert, Martin, Cvetković, Bojan, Nickovic, Slobodan, Marinou, Eleni, Baars, Holger, Ansmann, Albert, Vrekoussis, Mihalis, Mihalopoulos, Nikos, Sciare, Jean, Curtius, Joachim, Bingemer, Heinz G.

During an intensive field campaign on aerosol, clouds, and ice nucleation in the Eastern Mediterranean in April 2016, we measured the abundance of ice nucleating particles (INPs) in the lower troposphere from unmanned aircraft systems (UASs). Aerosol samples were collected by miniaturized electrostatic precipitators onboard the UASs at altitudes up to 2.5 km. The number of INPs in these samples, which are active in the deposition and condensation modes at temperatures from -20 to -30 °C, were analyzed immediately after collection on site using the ice nucleus counter FRIDGE (FRankfurt Ice nucleation Deposition freezinG Experiment). During the 1-month campaign, we encountered a series of Saharan dust plumes that traveled at several kilometers' altitude. Here we present INP data from 42 individual flights, together with aerosol number concentrations, observations of lidar backscattering, dust concentrations derived by the dust transport model DREAM (Dust Regional Atmospheric Model), and results from scanning electron microscopy. The effect of the dust plumes is reflected by the coincidence of INPs with the particulate matter (PM), the lidar signal, and the predicted dust mass of the model. This suggests that mineral dust or a constituent related to dust was a major contributor to the ice nucleating properties of the aerosol. Peak concentrations of above 100 INPs std L-1 were measured at -30 °C. The INP concentration in elevated plumes was on average a factor of 10 higher than at ground level. Since desert dust is transported for long distances over wide areas of the globe predominantly at several kilometers' altitude, we conclude that INP measurements at ground level may be of limited significance for the situation at the level of cloud formation.

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An automatic observation-based aerosol typing method for EARLINET

2018, Papagiannopoulos, Nikolaos, Mona, Lucia, Amodeo, Aldo, D'Amico, Giuseppe, Gumà Claramunt, Pilar, Pappalardo, Gelsomina, Alados-Arboledas, Lucas, Guerrero-Rascado, Juan Luís, Amiridis, Vassilis, Kokkalis, Panagiotis, Apituley, Arnoud, Baars, Holger, Schwarz, Anja, Wandinger, Ulla, Binietoglou, Ioannis, Nicolae, Doina, Bortoli, Daniele, Comerón, Adolfo, Rodríguez-Gómez, Alejandro, Sicard, Michaël, Papayannis, Alex, Wiegner, Matthias

We present an automatic aerosol classification method based solely on the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) intensive optical parameters with the aim of building a network-wide classification tool that could provide near-real-time aerosol typing information. The presented method depends on a supervised learning technique and makes use of the Mahalanobis distance function that relates each unclassified measurement to a predefined aerosol type. As a first step (training phase), a reference dataset is set up consisting of already classified EARLINET data. Using this dataset, we defined 8 aerosol classes: clean continental, polluted continental, dust, mixed dust, polluted dust, mixed marine, smoke, and volcanic ash. The effect of the number of aerosol classes has been explored, as well as the optimal set of intensive parameters to separate different aerosol types. Furthermore, the algorithm is trained with literature particle linear depolarization ratio values. As a second step (testing phase), we apply the method to an already classified EARLINET dataset and analyze the results of the comparison to this classified dataset. The predictive accuracy of the automatic classification varies between 59% (minimum) and 90% (maximum) from 8 to 4 aerosol classes, respectively, when evaluated against pre-classified EARLINET lidar. This indicates the potential use of the automatic classification to all network lidar data. Furthermore, the training of the algorithm with particle linear depolarization values found in the literature further improves the accuracy with values for all the aerosol classes around 80%. Additionally, the algorithm has proven to be highly versatile as it adapts to changes in the size of the training dataset and the number of aerosol classes and classifying parameters. Finally, the low computational time and demand for resources make the algorithm extremely suitable for the implementation within the single calculus chain (SCC), the EARLINET centralized processing suite.

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First triple-wavelength lidar observations of depolarization and extinction-to-backscatter ratios of Saharan dus

2022, Haarig, Moritz, Ansmann, Albert, Engelmann, Ronny, Baars, Holger, Toledano, Carlos, Torres, Benjamin, Althausen, Dietrich, Radenz, Martin, Wandinger, Ulla

Two layers of Saharan dust observed over Leipzig, Germany, in February and March 2021 were used to provide the first-ever lidar measurements of the dust lidar ratio (extinction-to-backscatter ratio) and linear depolarization ratio at all three classical lidar wavelengths (355, 532 and 1064gnm). The pure-dust conditions during the first event exhibit lidar ratios of 47g±g8, 50g±g5 and 69g±g14gsr and particle linear depolarization ratios of 0.242g±g0.024, 0.299g±g0.018 and 0.206g±g0.010 at wavelengths of 355, 532 and 1064gnm, respectively. The second, slightly polluted-dust case shows a similar spectral behavior of the lidar and depolarization ratio with values of the lidar ratio of 49g±g4, 46g±g5 and 57g±g9gsr and the depolarization ratio of 0.174g±g0.041, 0.298g±g0.016 and 0.242g±g0.007 at 355, 532 and 1064gnm, respectively. The results were compared with Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) version 3 (v3) inversion solutions and the Generalized Retrieval of Aerosol and Surface Properties (GRASP) at six and seven wavelengths. Both retrieval schemes make use of a spheroid shape model for mineral dust. The spectral slope of the lidar ratio from 532 to 1064gnm could be well reproduced by the AERONET and GRASP retrieval schemes. Higher lidar ratios in the UV were retrieved by AERONET and GRASP. The enhancement was probably caused by the influence of fine-mode pollution particles in the boundary layer which are included in the columnar photometer measurements. Significant differences between the measured and retrieved wavelength dependence of the particle linear depolarization ratio were found. The potential sources for these uncertainties are discussed.

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Long-term study on coarse mode aerosols in the Amazon rain forest with the frequent intrusion of Saharan dust plumes

2018, Moran-Zuloaga, Daniel, Ditas, Florian, Walter, David, Saturno, Jorge, Brito, Joel, Carbone, Samara, Chi, Xuguang, Hrabě de Angelis, Isabella, Baars, Holger, Godoi, Ricardo H. M., Heese, Birgit, Holanda, Bruna A., Lavrič, Jošt V., Martin, Scot T., Ming, Jing, Pöhlker, Mira L., Ruckteschler, Nina, Su, Hang, Wang, Yaqiang, Wang, Qiaoqiao, Wang, Zhibin, Weber, Bettina, Wolff, Stefan, Artaxo, Paulo, Pöschl, Ulrich, Andreae, Meinrat O., Pöhlker, Christopher

In the Amazonian atmosphere, the aerosol coarse mode comprises a complex, diverse, and variable mixture of bioaerosols emitted from the rain forest ecosystem, long-range transported Saharan dust (we use Sahara as shorthand for the dust source regions in Africa north of the Equator), marine aerosols from the Atlantic Ocean, and coarse smoke particles from deforestation fires. For the rain forest, the coarse mode particles are of significance with respect to biogeochemical and hydrological cycling, as well as ecology and biogeography. However, knowledge on the physicochemical and biological properties as well as the ecological role of the Amazonian coarse mode is still sparse. This study presents results from multi-year coarse mode measurements at the remote Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO) site. It combines online aerosol observations, selected remote sensing and modeling results, as well as dedicated coarse mode sampling and analysis. The focal points of this study are a systematic characterization of aerosol coarse mode abundance and properties in the Amazonian atmosphere as well as a detailed analysis of the frequent, pulse-wise intrusion of African long-range transport (LRT) aerosols (comprising Saharan dust and African biomass burning smoke) into the Amazon Basin.We find that, on a multi-year time scale, the Amazonian coarse mode maintains remarkably constant concentration levels (with 0.4 cmĝ'3 and 4.0 μg mĝ'3 in the wet vs. 1.2 cmĝ'3 and 6.5 μg mĝ'3 in the dry season) with rather weak seasonality (in terms of abundance and size spectrum), which is in stark contrast to the pronounced biomass burning-driven seasonality of the submicron aerosol population and related parameters. For most of the time, bioaerosol particles from the forest biome account for a major fraction of the coarse mode background population. However, from December to April there are episodic intrusions of African LRT aerosols, comprising Saharan dust, sea salt particles from the transatlantic passage, and African biomass burning smoke. Remarkably, during the core period of this LRT season (i.e., February-March), the presence of LRT influence, occurring as a sequence of pulse-like plumes, appears to be the norm rather than an exception. The LRT pulses increase the coarse mode concentrations drastically (up to 100 μg mĝ'3) and alter the coarse mode composition as well as its size spectrum. Efficient transport of the LRT plumes into the Amazon Basin takes place in response to specific mesoscale circulation patterns in combination with the episodic absence of rain-related aerosol scavenging en route. Based on a modeling study, we estimated a dust deposition flux of 5-10 kg haĝ'1 aĝ'1 in the region of the ATTO site. Furthermore, a chemical analysis quantified the substantial increase of crustal and sea salt elements under LRT conditions in comparison to the background coarse mode composition. With these results, we estimated the deposition fluxes of various elements that are considered as nutrients for the rain forest ecosystem. These estimates range from few g haĝ'1 aĝ'1 up to several hundreds of g haĝ'1 aĝ'1 in the ATTO region.The long-term data presented here provide a statistically solid basis for future studies of the manifold aspects of the dynamic coarse mode aerosol cycling in the Amazon. Thus, it may help to understand its biogeochemical relevance in this ecosystem as well as to evaluate to what extent anthropogenic influences have altered the coarse mode cycling already.