Aerosol extinction vertical profiles measured with Raman lidar in the framework of EARLINET in 2000 are compared to profiles modeled bya general circulation model, LMDzT-INCA, at seven stations in Europe. Comparisons based on individual profiles show moderate correlation between model and data. Averaging aerosol extinction values on larger temporal or spatial scales improves the comparison. Furthermore, we show that the model succeeds to reproduce the mean annual aerosol distribution over Europe. Comparisons of the aerosol vertical distribution in two distinct regions of Europe are presented. For the northern stations, the observed yearly average aerosol extinction coefficient vertical profile and the modeled one show an average bias of 22%. For the southern stations the mean bias is slightlyhigher (29%). Both model and lidar show different extinction profiles in different parts of Europe, with higher values in upper heights in the South. According to modeled profiles of each aerosol component, this is caused bythe presence of dust at altitudes between 2 and 6 km. In addition vertical mixing in the South seems to be more effective for the other aerosol components.
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