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A Climatological Satellite Assessment of Absorbing Carbonaceous Aerosols on a Global Scale

Laboratory of Meteorology, Department of Physics, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, LE17RH Leicester, UK
Leicester Institute for Space and Earth Observation, University, of Leicester, LE17RH Leicester, UK
Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing (IAASARS), National Observatory of Athens, 157 84 Athens, Greece
Department of Environment, University of the Aegean, 811 00 Mytilene, Greece
Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development (IERSD), NOA, 11810 Athens, Greece
Environmental Chemical Processes Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of Crete, 70013 Crete, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(11), 671;
Received: 29 August 2019 / Revised: 18 October 2019 / Accepted: 28 October 2019 / Published: 1 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Aerosols)
A global climatology of absorbing carbonaceous aerosols (ACA) for the period 2005–2015 is obtained by using satellite MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer)-Aqua and OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument)-Aura aerosol optical properties and by applying an algorithm. The algorithm determines the frequency of presence of ACA (black and brown carbon) over the globe at 1° × 1° pixel level and on a daily basis. The results of the algorithm indicate high frequencies of ACA (up to 19 days/month) over world regions with extended biomass burning, such as the tropical forests of southern and central Africa, South America and equatorial Asia, over savannas, cropland areas or boreal forests, as well as over urban and rural areas with intense anthropogenic activities, such as the eastern coast of China or the Indo-Gangetic plain. A clear seasonality of the frequency of occurrence of ACA is evident, with increased values during June–October over southern Africa, during July–November over South America, August–November over Indonesia, November–March over central Africa and November–April over southeastern Asia. The estimated seasonality of ACA is in line with the known annual patterns of worldwide biomass-burning emissions, while other features such as the export of carbonaceous aerosols from southern Africa to the southeastern Atlantic Ocean are also successfully reproduced by the algorithm. The results indicate a noticeable interannual variability and tendencies of ACA over specific world regions during 2005–2015, such as statistically significant increasing frequency of occurrence over southern Africa and eastern Asia. View Full-Text
Keywords: absorbing aerosols; carbonaceous; biomass burning; fires; smoke; satellites; climate change absorbing aerosols; carbonaceous; biomass burning; fires; smoke; satellites; climate change
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Hatzianastassiou, N.; Kalaitzi, N.; Gavrouzou, M.; Gkikas, A.; Korras-Carraca, M.-B.; Mihalopoulos, N. A Climatological Satellite Assessment of Absorbing Carbonaceous Aerosols on a Global Scale. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 671.

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