Articles | Volume 34, issue 8
Ann. Geophys., 34, 657–671, 2016
Ann. Geophys., 34, 657–671, 2016

Regular paper 03 Aug 2016

Regular paper | 03 Aug 2016

Quantitative assessment of AOD from 17 CMIP5 models based on satellite-derived AOD over India

Amit Misra1, Vijay P. Kanawade1,a, and Sachchida Nand Tripathi1,2 Amit Misra et al.
  • 1Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur, India
  • 2Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur, India
  • acurrently at: University Centre for Earth & Space Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India

Abstract. Aerosol optical depth (AOD) values from 17 CMIP5 models are compared with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) derived AODs over India. The objective is to identify the cases of successful AOD simulation by CMIP5 models, considering satellite-derived AOD as a benchmark. Six years of AOD data (2000–2005) from MISR and MODIS are processed to create quality-assured gridded AOD maps over India, which are compared with corresponding maps of 17 CMIP5 models at the same grid resolution. Intercomparison of model and satellite data shows that model-AOD is better correlated with MISR-derived AOD than MODIS. The correlation between model-AOD and MISR-AOD is used to segregate the models into three categories identifying their performance in simulating the AOD over India. Maps of correlation between model-AOD and MISR-/MODIS-AOD are generated to provide quantitative information about the intercomparison. The two sets of data are examined for different seasons and years to examine the seasonal and interannual variation in the correlation coefficients. Latitudinal and longitudinal variations in AOD as simulated by models are also examined and compared with corresponding variations observed by satellites.

Short summary
For an accurate understanding of earth climate system, it is necessary to evaluate the performance of the climate models used to perform these simulations. In this work we have examined aerosol optical depths simulated by 17 models by comparing them with satellite-derived aerosol optical depth. Our results indicate the role of dust aerosols and biogeochemistry in the simulation of aerosols by models.