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Keywords:

  • aerosol optical depth;
  • ACE-Asia;
  • Sun photometer

[1] From March to May 2001, aerosol size distributions and chemical compositions were measured using differential mobility analyzers (DMA), an aerodynamic particle sizer (APS), Micro-Orifice Uniform Deposit Impactors (MOUDI), and denuder samplers onboard the Twin Otter aircraft as part of the Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE)-Asia campaign. Of the 19 research flights, measurements on four flights that represented different aerosol characteristics are analyzed in detail. Clear-column radiative closure is studied by comparing aerosol extinctions predicted using in situ aerosol size distribution and chemical composition measurements to those derived from the 14-wavelength NASA Ames Airborne Tracking Sun photometer (AATS-14). In the boundary layer, pollution layers, and free troposphere with no significant mineral dust present, aerosol extinction closure was achieved within the estimated uncertainties over the full range of wavelengths of AATS-14. Aerosol extinctions predicted based on measured size distributions also reproduce the wavelength dependence derived from AATS-14 data. Considering all four flights, the best fit lines yield Predicted/Observed ratios in boundary and pollution layers of 0.97 ± 0.24 and 1.07 ± 0.08 at λ = 525 nm and 0.96 ± 0.21 and 1.08 ± 0.08 at λ = 1059 nm, respectively. In free troposphere dust layers, aerosol extinctions predicted from the measured size distributions were generally smaller than those derived from the AATS-14 data, with Predicted/Observed ratios of 0.65 ± 0.06 and 0.66 ± 0.05 at 525 and 1059 nm, respectively. A detailed analysis suggests that the discrepancy is likely a result of the lack of the knowledge of mineral dust shape as well as variations in aerosol extinction derived from AATS-14 data when viewing through horizontally inhomogeneous layers.