Observational constraints on ozone radiative forcing: perspectives from satellites, models, and assimilation

Speaker: Kevin Bowman, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

When: Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 3:30 p.m. Mountain Time
Location: Room 2A305, DSRC (NOAA Building), 325 Broadway, Boulder
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Atmospheric composition is the primary driver of climate and environmental change from human activity. Well-mixed greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are linked to short-lived climate forcers such as ozone through common combustion sources, chemistry, and eco-system processes. Consequently, policy studies are beginning to consider both air quality and climate impacts within an Earth System context to develop global mitigation strategies. Satellite observations from instruments such as the NASA Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) play an important role in understanding the processes controlling atmospheric composition as well as their attribution to specific sources. In conjunction with atmospheric models and advanced assimilation techniques, these data are providing constraints on how changes in composition force both climate and air quality, setting the stage for effective mitigation strategies. In particular, TES has played an important role in evaluating ozone radiative forcing from the Atmospheric Chemistry-Climate Model Intercomparison Project (ACCMIP) for the IPCC 5th assessment report. Using adjoint modeling techniques, global ozone radiative forcing observed by TES has been attributed to spatially resolved precursor emissions. Complementing the climate perspective, new remote sensing techniques, which combine the capabilities of both infrared (TES) and ultraviolet wavelengths (OMI), have the capability to capture near surface ozone. I will review these results and discuss their implication for a new generation of geostationary and low orbiting satellites, which can serve as the anchor for a global air quality-climate attribution system.