Feasibility of Ceilometers Data to Estimate Radiative Forcing Values: Application to Different Conditions around the COVID-19 Lockdown Period
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AuthorBarragán, Rubén; Molero, Francisco; Granados Muñoz, María José; Salvador, Pedro; Pujadas, M.; Artiñano, Begoña
Radiative forcing estimatesAerosolsCeilometer signalsLockdownCOVID-19Sanitary crisis
Barragan, R.; Molero, F.; Granados-Muñoz, M.J.; Salvador, P.; Pujadas, M.; Artíñano, B. Feasibility of Ceilometers Data to Estimate Radiative Forcing Values: Application to Different Conditions around the COVID-19 Lockdown Period. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 3699. [doi:10.3390/rs12223699]
SponsorshipSpanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity (CRISOL) CGL2017-85344-R; Madrid Regional Government (TIGAS-CM) Y2018/EMT-5177; Maria Sklodowska-Curie IF 796539; H2020 programme from the European Union 654109; 871115
In this study, the feasibility of using ceilometer signals to retrieve radiative forcing values is evaluated. The Global Atmospheric Model (GAME) radiative transfer model is used to estimate the shortwave and longwave radiative forcing using an aerosol parameterization based on AERONET data and vertical profiles from a Lufft CHM-15k Nimbus ceilometer. First, eight cases confirmed as dusty days are analyzed to check the feasibility of using ceilometer profiles to feed GAME. The obtained radiative forcing estimates are in good agreement with the literature showing negative values in the short wave (SW) (cooling effect) and positive values in the long wave (LW) (heating effect), both at all levels. As in the literature, radiative forcing estimates show a strong dependence on variations in the aerosol optical depth (AOD), solar zenith angle (θz), surface temperature (ST), and single scattering albedo at 440 nm (SSA440). Thus, GAME can be fed using ceilometer measurements obtaining reliable results. Then, as the temporal evolution of the AOD440 between 27 January and 15 June compared to the 6-year weekly AERONET AOD440 average (from 2014 to 2019) shows a decrease because of the lockdown imposed in Spain due to the COVID-19, a total of 37 radiative forcing calculations without African dust, divided into 8 scenarios, are performed in order to check the effect of the lockdown measures in the radiative forcing. It is shown that the decrease in the AOD, during the lockdown, caused a decrease in the cooling effect in the SW spectral range at all levels. Besides, the increase in the ST increased the heating effect of the aerosols in the LW at the top of the atmosphere and the presence of pollution and absorbing particles (SSA440 < 0.90) caused an increase of the heating effect in the LW at the surface. Therefore, the observed variations in the radiative forcing estimates before and during the lockdown are directly related with the decrease in emissions of aerosols related to human activities.