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List of INCA projects
last update: 23 May 2012

Current projects - Projects completed

Current projects

ACTES (Abrupt climate changes in terrestrial eolian records, Jan. 2009 - Dec. 2012, ANR Programme Blanc). The ACTES project combines field research, multidisciplinary high-resolution data analyses and modeling experiments in order to : (i) extend the database of high-resolution European loess profiles, (ii) identify and characterize as accurately as possible the rapid (millennial and sub-millennial timescale) climate changes recorded in these loess sequences during the last glacial period (approximately between 100,000 and 20,000 years before present), and (iii) investigate the relationship between these climate variations and the abrupt climate changes recorded in the same period in the North-Atlantic marine and ice cores : the so-called Dansgaard-Oeschger events and Heinrich events. The role of numerical modeling is to investigate the correlation, suggested by data, between the North-Atlantic climate signal and the variations of dust cyle intensity in Europe, revealed by the strong dust sedimentation rate variations in the eolian deposits during the last glaciation. Approach: AGCM simulations with the LMDZ model and a simple dust emission model have been used so far to simulate three different glacial climate states, « Greenland stadial », « Greenland interstadial » and « Heinrich event », and compare them with respect to dust emission intensity. We now focus on adapting INCA to correctly simulate the present-day dust emissions when using the LMDZ winds instead of being guided by the ECMWF winds. This will allow us to use LMDZ-INCA in paleo-climate conditions, and simulate not only dust emission changes, but also variations in transport and deposition associated with the abrupt climate changes of the last glacial period. Thus, we will be able to compare more quantitatively our numerical simulation results to the European loess sedimentation data. Contact: Denis-Didier Rousseau (PI) (denis.rousseau@lmd.ens.fr) , Adriana Sima (adriana.sima@lmd.ens.fr). Main collaborators for the modeling part: Masa Kageyama (masa.kageyama@lsce.ipsl.fr), Yves Balkanski (yves.balkanski@lsce.ipsl.fr), Gilles Ramstein (gilles.ramstein@lsce.ipsl.fr).

Projet GIS-ACHIA - Air pollution and Climate Change Health Impact (P. Kinney via the LSCE).

CLIMSLIP (Climate Impact of Short-Lived Pollutants and Methane in the Arctic, ANR project) aims at understanding the role of long-range transport of pollutants from various sources (anthropogenic activities and fires in particular) on atmospheric composition in the Arctic. In this context, LMDz-INCA simulations will be analyzed, with a particular focus on the evolution of biomass burning plumes (transport pathways, chemical composition and evolution during transport). Contact: CLIMSLIP project: G. Ancellet, K. Law; WP of global modeling: S. Turquety (solene.turquety@lmd.polytechnique.fr).

COMBINE (Comprehensive Modelling of the Earth System for Better Climate Prediction and Projection, 05/2009-05/2013). Influence of biogeochemical cycles on climate in Earth System Models and related retroactions. Regarding aerosols, changes in cloud properties are especially investigated.

ECLAIRE (Effects of climate change on air pollution impacts and response strategies for European ecosytems, European Commission under FP7 programme, October 2011-October 2015). ECLAIRE will investigate the ways in which climate change alters the threat of air pollution on European land ecosystems including soils. Starting with biosphere-atmosphere exchange measurements, ECLAIRE will quantify how global warming and altered precipitation will affect emissions of key European primary pollutants (NOx, NH3, VOCs), including interactions with increasing aerosol and hemispheric O3 background concentrations, modifying atmospheric transport and deposition. An ensemble of chemistry transport models will be applied to assess uncertainty in response to harmonized scenarios for climate, emissions and land-use, while high resolution studies will investigate how climate change alters local patterns of pollutant exposure and threshold exceedance. Approach: Use the LMDz-INCA-ORCHIDEE model to simulate the future evolution of climate and atmospheric composition including an interactive treatment of emissions and deposition of chemical species at the surface. The global model results will then be used to constrain regional chemistry models in Europe and investigate the impact of nitrogen deposition and ozone levels on the vegetation. Contact: Didier Hauglustaine (didier.hauglustaine@lsce.ipsl.fr), Juliette Lathière (juliette.lathière@lsce.ipsl.fr).

GeoMIP, EuTRACE (Geoengineering, European Commission under FP7 programme, June 2012-). Geoengineering refers to a broad set of methods and technologies that aim to deliberately alter the climate system in order to alleviate the impacts of climate change. Some methods seek to reduce the amount of absorbed solar energy in the climate system and are collectively known as Solar Radiation Management methods. They include spraying the marine boundary layer with sea salt to brighten clouds or inject aerosol precursors in the stratosphere to form aerosols. We will investigate the potential, effectiveness and impacts of some of these geoengineering techniques. Approach: Use the LMDz-INCA model to simulate the potential, effectiveness and impacts of some of the geoengineering techniques which have been proposed to counter global warming. Contact: Olivier Boucher (insert link: mailto olivier.boucher@lmd.jussieu.fr).

IMPLICC (Implications and Risks of Novel Options to Limit Climate Change, 07/2009-07/2012) significantly increase the level of knowledge about the feasibility and implications of novel options (or 'geoengineering concepts'), proposed recently to limit climate change.

IS-ENES (03/2009-03/2013) - develop a Virtual Earth System Modelling Resource Centre (V.E.R.C.), integrating the European Earth system models (ESMs) and their hardware, software, and data environments. The overarching goal of this e-infrastructure is to further integrate the European climate modelling community, to help the definition of a common future strategy, to ease the development of full ESMs, to foster the execution and exploitation of high-end simulations, and to support the dissemination of model results and the interaction with the climate change impact community.

PAPRIKA Global change impact on snow and glacier water resource evolution, local side-effect on Nepal societies (ANR project, 2010-2013): The role of absorbing aerosol on the climate and the monsoon over Asia. Strongly absorbing black carbon substantially heats the atmosphere in key monsoon regions. The amount of heat trapped in the atmospheric column by the aerosol layer can amount to several tens of Watts per square meter. This column heating is accompanied by a heating flux reduction at the surface. This diabatic heating tends to reinforce the monsoon through convective heating whereas the surface cooling tends to suppress precipitation through a reduction of the temperature gradient between land and ocean. These two processes tend to modify the monsoon regime. This project aims at understanding the changes in the dynamics as a first step in a forced GCM with a zoom of 50x50 km2 resolution over Asia and then with an ocean-atmosphere system model. The study will try to identify hydrological cycle induced by the atmospheric heating due to the presence of aerosols. The changes due to aerosols that arise from their optical properties have been neglected so far in climatic projections whereas these local changes to atmospheric heating can cause changes in seasonal and intra-annual characteristics of the monsoon. The future changes in aerosol loads during this century provide another uncertainty that needs to be accounted for. The objective will be therefore to study the role of these aerosols on the monsoon characteristics (intensity, position, seasonal onset and inter-annual variation) and to determine for the role of the different ocean-atmosphere feedbacks for present conditions and for a simulated climate with doubled CO2 concentrations. The fields of precipitation and of temperature at 2 meters over the Asian region will then be used as limit condition to a regional study with the MAR model.This research will make use of control simulations already completed for IPCC with the coupled model from IPSL. It will focus on: (i)The study of the role of the strongly absorbing black carbon,(ii)The analysis of simulations will analyze climate variability for 2xCO2 experiments concentrations for which the snow-cover area is changed,(iii)Specific diagnostics will help quantify the vertical motion caused by this diabatic warming of the atmospheric column, (iiii)The mechanism by which aerosol influences the onset and the position of the monsoon will be analyzed, with particular emphasis on the feedbacks linked to changes in the tropical oceanic circulation.

Photodust (ANR project, 2010-2012): Photocatalytic properties of mineral aerosols. We aim to determine the significance of the heterogeneous reactions on mineral dust and how they impact atmospheric NOy, NOx and HOx budgets and O3 mixing ratios. This project entails simulations using a global circulation model with an aerosol/chemistry module to account for heterogeneous chemistry. The greatest uncertainties in the present state of the art modeling are linked to the choice of the following parameters: uptake coefficients / capacities and reaction mechanisms and their dependence on atmospheric variables such as relative humidity, intensity of irradiation by sunlight and concentrations of other trace gases. The global and regional impact of the processes studied in the laboratory will be assessed in a model that has realistic dust emission schemes, and tested representations of trace-gas aerosol interactions including the effect of the atmospheric variables mentioned above. The role of mineral dust in changing concentrations of e.g. key NOx reservoirs, the HO2 / OH budgets and both direct and indirect impacts on tropospheric ozone will be done within a realistic framework of known gas-phase reactions and other aerosol types (sulfate and sea-salt). The mineralogical composition inferred from a global soil mineralogy database will determine the limitation by calcite of the uptake of acids by dust. In addition, the effects of chemical ageing / changing hygroscopic properties of mineral dust during transport and the associated impact on optical properties and modification of clouds / precipitation and the radiation budget will be assessed. This work is done within a close collaboration with 4 other groups from Karlsruhe and Mainz in Germany and from Lyon and Lille in France.

POLMIP : Intercomparison exercise to understand the performance of CTMs in the high latitudes, focusing on the year 2008 during which several field campaigns allowed a precise sampling of atmospheric composition in plumes from different origins. Contact: S. Turquety (solene.turquety@lmd.polytechnique.fr).

RadioClimFire (Radioactivity, climate, fire and human health: A second Chernobyl catastrophe about to happen?, GISclimat, 2012-2014). The disaster at the Chernobyl power plant in 1986 released approximately 10 EBq (x 1018 Bq) of radioactivity, with most deposited in the nearby areas of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. More or less half of the deposited radioelements still remain in the heavily contaminated areas, whereas the absence of human activity (especially inside the exclusion zone of 30 km radius) has caused accumulation of firewoods for the last 25 years. Given that climate change (apparent during the last decades) resulted in temperature increase and precipitation decrease as well, there is an increased risk of forest fires. Such fires are disproportionately present in contaminated areas as revealed by satellite images. Forest fires produce radioactive smoke that can be transported and subsequently deposited in densely populated areas such as Kiev and Moscow, depending on wind direction and the patterns of rainfall. Such redistribution of radioactivity could have dramatic consequences for public health, but also for biodiversity. Main objective of the RadioClimFire project is to assess the consequences of different kinds of forest fires (minor fires, intermediate fires that affect 30% of the area and entire area being affected by fire) on redistribution of radioactive material. LMDzORINCA (coupled LMDz-ORCHIDEE-INCA model) will be used to model the transport of smoke and contaminants. The aerosol model INCA (Interactions between Chemistry and Aerosols) is coupled to the general circulation model, LMDz, developed at the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique in Paris. We inserted the tracer 137Cs (half-life = 30.2 years) into the model. Cesium-137 is treated as an aerosol in a zoom version of the model with a resolution of 144x142 stretched over Europe. Thereafter, the model will be coupled with the SPITFIRE fire module, which predicts the fire ignitions (natural, by lightning and anthropogenic), as a function of fuel load and type derived from the vegetation model and the dynamic of the fire. Moreover, data on burnt areas have been made available from the MODIS sensor that allows identification of individual fires and permits comparison of results from fire models with this product. We will predict the risk of forest fires in relation to level of contamination. Finally, in co-operation with health experts, we will assess the health consequences in human and non-human biota by forecasting changes in birth rates, stillbirths and primary sex ratios as a consequence of changes in levels of background radiation due to forest fires. We will provide estimates of public health effects of burning firewood, varying in degree of radioactive contamination, for heating and cooking for women and children, relying on the Ukrainian birth defect registry and information collected by health clinics in the Rivne Oblast.Contact: Nikolaos Evangeliou (Nikolaos.Evangeliou@lsce.ipsl.fr) and Yves Balkanski (yves.balkanski@lsce.ipsl.fr)

Projects completed

EUCAARI (Aerosol Cloud Climate and Air Quality Interactions, 01/2007-01/2011), brings together the leading European research groups, state-of-the-art infrastructure and key players from third countries to investigate the role of aerosol on climate and air quality. It s a project within EU's Sixth Framework Program.

GEOMON (Global Earth Observation and Modelling, 02/2007-02/2011) is a project funded by the 6th framework program of the European commission and contributing to GEOSS. Its mission is to build an integrated pan-European atmospheric observing system of greenhouse gases, reactive gases, aerosols, and stratospheric ozone. Ground-based and air-borne data are sustained and analyzed, complementary with satellite observations, in order to quantify and understand the ongoing changes of the atmospheric composition. Our team is involved in the integration and supporting modelling studies.

HTAP The Task Force on Hemispheric Transport on Air Pollution (TF HTAP) has been set up to develop a better understanding of the intercontinental transport of air pollutants in the Northern Hemisphere and to produce estimates of the intercontinental flows of air pollutants for consideration in the review of protocols under the Convention on LongRange Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP), presently covering the UN ECE region. The TF HTAP coordinated model studies started with Source Receptor experiments in 2006. In the course of 2007 and 2008, based on the outcome of the first experiments, the experiments were gradually expanded upon.

RETRO (REanalysis of the TROpospheric chemical composition over the past 61 years, 2003-2006) is also a project funded by 5th framework program of the European Commission (2-5). This project aims at a better exploitation of existing observational datasets of chemical trace compound concentrations by performing a 61-year reanalysis of the tropospheric chemical composition. Have a look at the RETRO model interface.

QUANTIFY is a 5 year european project (03/2005-03/2010). The main goal of QUANTIFY is to quantify the climate impact of global and European transport systems for the present situation and for several scenarios of future development. The climate impact of various transport modes (land surface, shipping, aviation) will be assessed, including those of long-lived greenhouse gases like CO2 and N2O, and in particular the effects of emissions of ozone precursors and particles, as well as of contrails and ship tracks.

SCOUT-O3 (2004-2009) a 5 year EU project in which we use LMDz-INCA to investigate the climate-chemistry interactions and the role of the stratosphere in the climate system.

The TRADE-OFF project was funded by the 5th framework program of the European Commission (2000-20003). The main objectives of this project are: to calculate future changes in climate compounds in the atmosphere and the contributions from aircraft emissions to climate changes, to reduce the large uncertainties in the current calculations of the impact from future air traffic, and to provide industry and decision-makers with options to reduce future climate impact from aircraft emissions.

The METRIC project was funded by the 5th framework program of the European Commission (2000-2003). The objectives are to assess current metrics of climate change, e.g. radiative forcings and Global Warming Potentials as used in the Kyoto Protocol, to refine metrics of climate change, suitable for climate forcing agents arising from inhomogeneously distributed perturbations of the atmosphere, e.g., aerosols, ozone, contrails and from gases with different levels of thermal infrared optical thickness and different atmospheric adjustment times, e.g., CO2 versus CH4, and to evaluate the refined metrics with respect to their usefulness for policy makers.

The AEROCOM initiative is an aerosol model intercomparison coordinated by the LSCE and the MPI/Meteorology in Hamburg in order to document current global aerosol models and evaluate them against surface and remote sensing observations.

The PHOENICS project funded by the 5th framework program (2002-2004) aims to elucidate the role of "Particles of Human Origin Extinguishing Natural solar radiation In Climate Systems". The partners developed modules for the treatment of the aerosol in global climate models in order to reduce uncertainty in radiative forcing due to these components.

The CREATE project funded by the 5th framework program (1998-2002) and aimed at creating an aerosol database. INCA science are displayed for Europe on a dedicated web interface.

The GEMS Integrated Project will mobilise considerable European scientific and technical expertise to provide new operational services and capabilities: The global assimilation / forecast system will provide initial and boundary conditions for nine operational regional air-quality and 'chemical weather' forecast systems across Europe. * GEMS will develop operational state-of-the-art variational estimates of the sources/sinks, plus inter-continental transports, of many trace gases and aerosols; these estimates will be designed to meet, on a monthly or quarterly basis, policy makers' key information requirements relevant to the Kyoto and Montreal protocols and to the UN Convention on Long-Range Trans-boundary Air Pollution.


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