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15-Year Analysis of Direct Effects of Total and Dust Aerosols in Solar Radiation/Energy over the Mediterranean Basin

1
Laboratory of Climatology and Atmospheric Environment, Sector of Geography and Climatology, Department of Geology and Environment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (LACAE/NKUA), 15784 Athens, Greece
2
Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens (IAASARS/NOA), 15236 Athens, Greece
3
Physicalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos, World Radiation Center, 7260 Davos, Switzerland
4
Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens (IERSD/NOA), 15236 Athens, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael Obland
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(7), 1535; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14071535
Received: 27 January 2022 / Revised: 11 March 2022 / Accepted: 19 March 2022 / Published: 22 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Atmospheric Remote Sensing)
The direct radiative effects of atmospheric aerosols are essential for climate, as well as for other societal areas, such as the energy sector. The goal of the present study is to exploit the newly developed ModIs Dust AeroSol (MIDAS) dataset for quantifying the direct effects on the downwelling surface solar irradiance (DSSI), induced by the total and dust aerosol amounts, under clear-sky conditions and the associated impacts on solar energy for the broader Mediterranean Basin, over the period 2003–2017. Aerosol optical depth (AOD) and dust optical depth (DOD) derived by the MIDAS dataset, along with additional aerosol and dust optical properties and atmospheric variables, were used as inputs to radiative transfer modeling to simulate DSSI components. A 15-year climatology of AOD, DOD and clear-sky global horizontal irradiation (GHI) and direct normal irradiation (DNI) was derived. The spatial and temporal variability of the aerosol and dust effects on the different DSSI components was assessed. Aerosol attenuation of annual GHI and DNI were 1–13% and 5–47%, respectively. Over North Africa and the Middle East, attenuation by dust was found to contribute 45–90% to the overall attenuation by aerosols. The GHI and DNI attenuation during extreme dust episodes reached 12% and 44%, respectively, over particular areas. After 2008, attenuation of DSSI by aerosols became weaker mainly because of changes in the amount of dust. Sensitivity analysis using different AOD/DOD inputs from Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) reanalysis dataset revealed that using CAMS products leads to underestimation of the aerosol and dust radiative effects compared to MIDAS, mainly because the former underestimates DOD. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerosols; dust; direct radiative effects; solar energy; Mediterranean Basin aerosols; dust; direct radiative effects; solar energy; Mediterranean Basin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Papachristopoulou, K.; Fountoulakis, I.; Gkikas, A.; Kosmopoulos, P.G.; Nastos, P.T.; Hatzaki, M.; Kazadzis, S. 15-Year Analysis of Direct Effects of Total and Dust Aerosols in Solar Radiation/Energy over the Mediterranean Basin. Remote Sens. 2022, 14, 1535. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14071535

AMA Style

Papachristopoulou K, Fountoulakis I, Gkikas A, Kosmopoulos PG, Nastos PT, Hatzaki M, Kazadzis S. 15-Year Analysis of Direct Effects of Total and Dust Aerosols in Solar Radiation/Energy over the Mediterranean Basin. Remote Sensing. 2022; 14(7):1535. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14071535

Chicago/Turabian Style

Papachristopoulou, Kyriakoula, Ilias Fountoulakis, Antonis Gkikas, Panagiotis G. Kosmopoulos, Panagiotis T. Nastos, Maria Hatzaki, and Stelios Kazadzis. 2022. "15-Year Analysis of Direct Effects of Total and Dust Aerosols in Solar Radiation/Energy over the Mediterranean Basin" Remote Sensing 14, no. 7: 1535. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14071535

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