The Reality of Simulating Aerosols

Aerosols are small particles suspended in the atmosphere. These particles impact climate and air quality very directly and have been studied since nuclear winter scenarios were possible during the Cold War between the USA and USSR. Now, atmospheric aerosols are known to be from both natural and human sources, impact how sunlight passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, affect climate, change cloud and precipitation properties, have a powerful impact on air quality and human health, and even be considered as a possible mechanism to “geoengineer” the Earth’s climate to negate the temperature increase due to increases in fossil fuel carbon dioxide. My research questions are related to the intersection between measured and modeled aerosol properties, ranging from broad globally-relevant metrics to fundamental properties of the particles in an aerosol.

The methods I use to support this research are data that I helped collect during SAFARI-2000, data available from global networks like NASA AERONET and NOAA GMD, data products from satellite-based remote sensing instruments like MODIS, MISR, AVHRR, VIR among others.

Relevant publications
Magi et al. (2009): showed discrepancies between simulated and measured aerosol properties. the discrepancies remain difficult to totally explain
Magi (2009): reanalysis of aircraft-based field measurements and an initial attempt to disentangle black carbon and organic carbon properties
Magi et al. (2008): study that applies technique in Magi et al. (2007) and estimates direct radiative forcing by the aerosol over southern Africa
Magi et al. (2007): a technique to adapt aircraft-based measurements as input to radiative transfer
Magi et al. (2005): data analysis of aerosol properties from a NASA field campaign called CLAMS which took place from Wallops Island, Virginia.
Gao et al. (2003): analysis of ionic species measured by filters from SAFARI-2000 and updated by Magi (2009)
Kirchstetter et al. (2003): analysis of carbonaceous species measured by filters from SAFARI-2000 and updated by Magi (2009)
Magi et al. (2003): analysis of SAFARI-2000 vertical profiles of aerosol optical properties from two independent measurements
Magi and Hobbs (2003): analysis of measurements from the NASA SAFARI-2000 field campaign showing the dependence of aerosol optical properties on the ambient relative humidity