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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2010, Article ID 681587, 14 pages
Research Article

Urban Surface Temperature Reduction via the Urban Aerosol Direct Effect: A Remote Sensing and WRF Model Sensitivity Study

1Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, San José State University, 1 Washington Square, San José, CA 95192-0104, USA
2Department of Geography, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
3IMSG at Environmental Modeling Center, NOAA/NCEP, Camp Springs, MD 20746, USA

Received 9 April 2010; Revised 13 October 2010; Accepted 24 November 2010

Academic Editor: Krishnaswamy Krishnamoorthy

Copyright © 2010 Menglin Jin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aerosol direct effect, namely, scattering and absorption of sunlight in the atmosphere, can lower surface temperature by reducing surface insolation. By combining National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork) observations in large cities with Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulations, we find that the aerosol direct reduction of surface insolation ranges from 40–100Wm−2, depending on aerosol loading and land-atmosphere conditions. To elucidate the maximum possible effect, values are calculated using a radiative transfer model based on the top quartile of the multiyear instantaneous aerosol data observed by AERONET sites. As a result, surface skin temperature can be reduced by 1°C-2°C while 2-m surface air temperature reductions are generally on the order of 0.5°C–1°C.