6.2 Atmospheric Radiation Science Workshop

The Atmospheric Radiation Science Workshop (ASRW) was held at the NCAR Mesa Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado from 8-11 March, 2016. Participants included over 80 scientists and engineers from universities, national laboratories, NOAA, NASA and industry. The 4-day meeting facilitated discussion of current and future scientific directions for shortwave science, observational needs and priorities and assessment of current and emerging technology, platforms, and experimental approaches. Special emphasis was given to optimizing airborne observations as part of the ground- and satellite-based observational system to best meet modeling needs. Many of the topics draw from lessons learned from recent and planned experiments (e.g. DC3, SEAC4RS, CSET, ARISE, ORACLES).

The workshop intentionally encompassed the broad range of expertise covering in situ observations of radiance, irradiance and actinic flux density, satellite remote sensing and retrievals, radiative transfer and chemistry models and instrumentation engineers to examine cross-cutting technologies and scientific priorities and generate new collaborations and approaches. Funding agency representatives provided insight into research opportunities while student participants gained a broad overview of radiation science and engineering aspects of the field.

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Figure 1. ASRW attendee institutions.

The workshop was organized as a series of plenary talks and two plenary discussions

  • Emerging science, technology, and platforms

  • Future experiments and flight planning strategies

and seven breakout sessions

  • Radiometry (calibration, components, performance parameters)

  • Radiation and microphysics in observations and modeling

  • High-latitude observations and radiation budget

  • Atmospheric complexity in cloud-aerosol observations and radiative transfer modeling

  • Airborne vehicle coordination and air traffic regulation

  • Photochemistry

  • Satellite validation

The unprecedented community-building effort laid the foundation for future activities and collaborations. A sampling of outcomes include assessments of radiative science priorities (e.g. spectral and global constraints on aerosol impacts, cloud-aerosol interactions and heating rate profiles and changing arctic budgets), observational needs (e.g. ultraviolet aerosol single scattering albedo, instrument miniaturization and statistical satellite validation techniques) and greater community interactions (e.g. optimal sampling strategies from the surface to space, 3-D model development and future sub-topic workshops and campaigns). A comprehensive summary of outcomes is in preparation for publication and more information is available at the ASR Workshop website.

The ASRW was jointly hosted by the ACOM Laboratory and the University of Colorado under the sponsorship of the Atmospheric Chemistry Center for Observational Research and Data (ACCORD) and the NASA Radiation Science Program.