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Published October 2004 | Published
Journal Article Open

Aerosol Data Sources and Their Roles within PARAGON


We briefly but systematically review major sources of aerosol data, emphasizing suites of measurements that seem most likely to contribute to assessments of global aerosol climate forcing. The strengths and limitations of existing satellite, surface, and aircraft remote sensing systems are described, along with those of direct sampling networks and ship-based stations. It is evident that an enormous number of aerosol-related observations have been made, on a wide range of spatial and temporal sampling scales, and that many of the key gaps in this collection of data could be filled by technologies that either exist or are expected to be available in the near future. Emphasis must be given to combining remote sensing and in situ active and passive observations and integrating them with aerosol chemical transport models, in order to create a more complete environmental picture, having sufficient detail to address current climate forcing questions. The Progressive Aerosol Retrieval and Assimilation Global Observing Network (PARAGON) initiative would provide an organizational framework to meet this goal.

Additional Information

© American Meteorological Society 2004. In final form 28 July 2004. Support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy is gratefully acknowledged. The research of D. J. Diner, R. A. Kahn, and R. T. Menzies was conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA. R. J. Charlson acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation (Grant ATM-0138250). The research of T. P. Ackerman was conducted at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory under contract with JPL. We are grateful to R. M. Reynolds of Brookhaven National Laboratory for providing helpful input regarding SOAR.

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