Atmos & Climate Dynamics Seminar: Dr. Manuel Zuluaga

Start Date/Time: Thursday, October 06, 2011, 3:30 PM
Ending Date/Time: Thursday, October 06, 2011, 4:20 PM
Location: ATG 310 C

***Atmos & Climate Dynamics Seminar (ATM S 521)***
Coordinator: Prof. John M. Wallace

Speaker: Dr. Manuel Zuluaga, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Atmospheric Sciences, UW
Title: "Spatio-temporal Variability of Aerosols in the Tropics: Relationship with Atmospheric and Oceanic Environments"

Abstract: Earth’s radiation budget is directly influenced by aerosols through the absorption of solar radiation and subsequent heating of the atmosphere. Aerosols modulate the hydrological cycle indirectly by modifying cloud properties, precipitation and ocean heat storage. In addition, polluting aerosols impose health risks in local, regional and global scales. In spite of recent advances in the study of aerosols variability, uncertainty in their spatial and temporal distributions still presents a challenge in the understanding of climate variability. For example, aerosol loading varies not only from year to year but also on higher frequency intraseasonal time scales producing strong variability on local and regional scales. An assessment of the impact of aerosol variability requires long period measurements of aerosols at both regional and global scales.

The present work compiles a large database of remotely sensed aerosol loading in order to analyze its spatio-temporal variability, and how this load interacts with different variables that characterize the dynamic and thermodynamic states of the environment. Aerosol Index (AI) and Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) were used as measures of the atmospheric aerosol load. In addition, atmospheric and oceanic satellite observations, and reanalysis datasets is used in the analysis to investigate aerosol-environment interactions. A diagnostic study is conducted to produce global and regional aerosol satellite climatologies, and to analyze and compare the validity of aerosol retrievals. We find similarities and differences between the aerosol distributions over various regions of the globe when comparing the different satellite retrievals. A nonparametric approach is also used to examine the spatial distribution of the recent trends in aerosol concentration. A significant positive trend was found over the Middle East, Arabian Sea and South Asian regions strongly influenced by increases in dust events.