GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

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Visualizations - Aerosols and Clouds

Aerosols

Title Extinction Optical Depth by Aerosols in 2012
Description Extinction optical depth of aerosols in the visible simulated by GFDL high resolution model for the year 2012. Each aerosol type has its own color varying from black and transparent to white and opaque as the value of extinction increases: sulfate (grey), dust (red), seasalt (blue), and carbonaceous aerosols (green). The model is run with wind components nudged towards NCEP re-analysis, and with a ~50 km resolution. Sulfate is produced from oxidation of sulfur dioxide, which is emitted mostly from fossil fuel burning, such that major plumes of sulfate are observed in East and South-East Asia, and from Europe and the United States. Carbonaceous aerosols are emitted from fires, including savannah fires in the tropics. Large plumes of carbonaceous aerosols from Africa and South America are apparent during dry season. Sea-salt aerosols are produced by the action of wind on the ocean. The strongest winds in the southern Ocean produce all year long high extinction optical depth by sea-salt. Other oceanic regions emit sea-salt, but to a lesser extend. Dust is emitted from dry soils rich in alluvium when surface winds are strong enough. Such conditions are met in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world, and dust events can be observed from nearly all continents: Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South Americas.
Model name GFDL high resolution AM3.1 model
Scientist(s) Paul Ginoux
Date created December 2012
Visualization Personnel Realisation: Paul Ginoux (NOAA GFDL); Graphical Program: Arlindo da Silva (NASA GSFC); Animation: Paidemwoyo Munhutu (NOAA GFDL & DRC); Blue Marble from NASA Visible Earth.
Files MPEG (149 MB)
Flash
HTML5 Video

Title Extinction Optical Depth by Aerosols in 2012 - Last 2 weeks of October 2012
Description Dust is emitted from natural and anthropogenic sources, with a nice example of anthropogenic dust event over US generated from crop fields in Western Nebraska on October 18 and reaching the East coast on October 20, 2012. And one week later (near the end of the movie) Hurricane Sandy is generating large amount of sea salt along the East coast of the US.
Model name GFDL high resolution AM3.1 model
Scientist(s) Paul Ginoux
Date created December 2012
Visualization Personnel Realisation: Paul Ginoux (NOAA GFDL); Graphical Program: Arlindo da Silva (NASA GSFC); Animation: Paidemwoyo Munhutu (NOAA GFDL & DRC); Blue Marble from NASA Visible Earth.
Files MPEG (8 MB)
Flash
HTML5 Video