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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Development and technical paper 27 May 2019

Development and technical paper | 27 May 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

Improved tropospheric and stratospheric sulfur cycle in the aerosol-chemistry-climate model SOCOL-AERv2

Aryeh Feinberg1,2,3, Timofei Sukhodolov1,4, Bei-Ping Luo1, Eugene Rozanov1,4, Lenny H. E. Winkel2,3, Thomas Peter1, and Andrea Stenke1 Aryeh Feinberg et al.
  • 1Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 3Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland
  • 4Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos and World Radiation Center, Davos, Switzerland

Abstract. SOCOL-AERv1 was developed as an aerosol-chemistry-climate model to study the stratospheric sulfur cycle and its influence on climate and the ozone layer. It includes a sectional aerosol model that tracks the sulfate particle size distribution in 40 size bins, between 0.39 nm to 3.2 µm. Sheng et al. (2015) showed that SOCOL-AERv1 successfully matched observable quantities related to stratospheric aerosol, including a simulated stratospheric aerosol burden of 109 Gg of sulfur (S), very close to the satellite-derived estimate available in 2015, 112 Gg S. In the meantime, both the satellite retrieval and SOCOL-AER have undergone significant improvements. In producing SOCOL-AERv2 we have implemented several updates to the model: adding interactive deposition schemes, improving the sulfate mass and particle number conservation, and expanding the tropospheric chemistry scheme. We compare the two versions of the model with background stratospheric sulfate aerosol observations, stratospheric aerosol evolution after Pinatubo, and ground-based sulfur deposition networks. SOCOL-AERv2 shows similar levels of agreement as SOCOL-AERv1 with satellite-measured extinctions and in situ optical particle counter (OPC) balloon flights. Also, the volcanically quiescent total stratospheric aerosol burden simulated in SOCOL-AERv2, 160 Gg S, agrees very well with the new satellite estimate of 165 Gg S. However, SOCOL-AERv2 simulates too high cross-tropopause transport of tropospheric SO2 and/or sulfate aerosol, leading to an overestimation of lower stratospheric aerosol. Due to the current lack of upper tropospheric SO2 measurements and the neglect of organic aerosol in the model, the lower stratospheric bias of SOCOL-AERv2 was not further improved. Model performance under volcanically perturbed conditions has also undergone some changes, resulting in a slightly lower shorter volcanic aerosol lifetime after the Pinatubo eruption. With the improved deposition schemes of SOCOL-AERv2, simulated sulfur wet deposition fluxes are within a factor of 2 of measured deposition fluxes at 78 % of the measurement stations globally, an agreement which is on par with previous model intercomparison studies. Because of these improvements, SOCOL-AERv2 will be better suited to studying changes to atmospheric sulfur deposition due to variations in climate and emissions.

Aryeh Feinberg et al.
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Status: open (until 22 Jul 2019)
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Aryeh Feinberg et al.
Data sets

Simulation data in the development of SOCOL-AERv2 A. Feinberg, T. Sukhodolov, B.-P. Luo, E. Rozanov, L. Winkel, A. Stenke, and T. Peter

Aryeh Feinberg et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We have improved several aspects of atmospheric sulfur cycling in SOCOL-AER, an aerosol-chemistry-climate model. The newly implemented features in SOCOL-AERv2 include interactive deposition schemes, improved sulfur mass conservation, and expanded tropospheric chemistry. SOCOL-AERv2 shows better agreement with stratospheric aerosol observations and sulfur deposition networks compared to SOCOL-AERv1. SOCOL-AERv2 can be used to study impacts of sulfate aerosol on climate, chemistry, and ecosystems.
We have improved several aspects of atmospheric sulfur cycling in SOCOL-AER, an...