Three ARL Scientists Featured at NOAA’s JPSS Annual Meeting

September 2018

Drs. Ariel Stein, Pius Lee, and Daniel Tong gave talks on satellite applications in dispersion and atmospheric chemistry at the 2018 Joint Polar-orbiting Satellite System (JPSS) conference held August 27-30, 2018 at the National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in College Park, Maryland.

By special invitation, Dr. Stein delivered a keynote speech titled, “Aerosol Products for Atmospheric Transport Modeling Applications; A Path Forward.” This address described the current and potential future uses of satellite data to improve the performance of transport and dispersion models such as ARL’s HYSPLIT model, known in the atmospheric science community as one of the most widely used models for atmospheric trajectory and dispersion calculations. Scientists are exploring a variety of emerging techniques, Dr. Stein explained, but inverse modeling seems the most promising since its applications range from forest fires to nuclear emergencies.

Dr. Lee presented “Potential Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Application to Support the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Ozone Forecast.” He explained that the National Air Quality Forecasting Capability (NAQFC) develops an ozone and particulate matter (PM) forecast driven by emissions input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Emission National Inventory, the bookkeeping for which is outdated by a minimum of five years. Scientists are concerned with deriving data from an outdated system, especially for two air pollutants of concern for human health impact. Enter the discussion of NO2, a pollutant emitted largely by human activity that serves as a precursor species for both Ozone and PM. NO2 is confidently observed via satellite due to good sensitivities, and satellite-based NO2 data is available from JPSS; data viewed as extremely useful to updating NO2 concentrations and improving NAQFC forecasting accuracy. ARL scientists have derived methodologies to combine surface monitors and satellite-based data to constrain NO2 emission fluxes and improve NAQFC’s forecast performance.

Dr. Tong gave a plenary talk titled, “Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Marine Isoprene — from Research to Air Quality Forecasting Operations,” which summarized ARL’s five-year effort to develop a new satellite product called VIIRS isoprene. The talk also covered usage of this new product to support NWS NAQFC operational forecasting. In his second talk, “Opportunities of JPSS Ocean Color Products in Atmospheric Applications: Status and Future Needs,” Dr. Tong shared his vision for applying satellite ocean color products to aerosols and atmospheric composition prediction within NOAA’s Next Generation Global Prediction System.

Conference information on a photo of the NCWCP building
Credit: NOAA