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A post-processing tool for Aerosol Optical Properties calculations

Written by Gabriele Curci

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Short description

Primary motivation for development of FlexAOD (Flexible Aerosol Optical Depth) is the increasing availability of ground-based (e.g. AERONET) and satellite-based (e.g. MISR and CALIPSO) measurements of atmospheric aerosol optical properties. In addition to Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) at several wavelengths, also other properties such as the Single Scattering Albedo or the Size Distribution are becoming more common products.

The development of FlexAOD started as a post-processing tool for the GEOS-Chem chemistry-transport model. The standard on-line AOD diagnostic of GEOS-Chem chemistry-transport model (see GEOS-Chem wiki for details) may pose limits to full exploitation of the information content of aerosol observations in combination with model simulations. FlexAOD is aimed at filling this gap. The development of the code stems from the on-line AOD diagnostic of GEOS-Chem: aerosol optical properties are calculated for 6 «optical» aerosol species (inorganic ions (sulfate + nitrate + ammonium), organic carbon, blank carbon, sea salts, and soil dust) assumed as externally mixed. In its present version, FlexAOD allows the user to:

The capabilities of FlexAOD will be gradually expanded. A few developments are on the pipeline (e.g. options for aerosol internal mixing assumptions, AERONET-like output variables, size-limited calculations (e.g. AOD due to particles less than 1 µm), more flexible treatment of aerosol species), and others might be coming out from the user community.

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ASI This activity is supported by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) in the frame of PRISMA.