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Changes in aerosol optical properties due to dust storms in the Middle East and Southwest Asia

Alam, Khan and Trautmann, Thomas and Blaschke, Thomas and Subhan, Fazli (2014) Changes in aerosol optical properties due to dust storms in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. Remote Sensing of Environment, 143, pp. 216-227. Elsevier. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2013.12.021 ISSN 0034-4257

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Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034425714000066#

Abstract

Super dust storms occurred over the Middle East and southwest Asia on March 2012. These storms reduced the air quality over the Gulf Region, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan. Airports were shut down due to poor visibility, schools were closed, and hundreds of people were hospitalized with respiratory problems. In order to better understand the effects of such dust storms we have analyzed aerosol optical and radiative properties during this event using data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer and the Aerosol Robotic Networ. Maximum aerosol optical depth (AOD) values occurred on the 18th of March in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, where values of 4.9, 4.4, 4.3, and 4.9 were recorded, respectively. In Oman, the Arabian Sea, and Iran, maximum AOD values occurred on the 19th of March, reaching 4.5, 5, and 5, respectively. The dust storm then spread across Pakistan, passing through Multan, Faisalabad, and Lahore where maximum AOD values of 2.1, 2.6, and 2.7, respectively, were attained on the 20th of March. The maximum aerosol volume size distributions (VSDs) in Lahore occurred on dusty days and minimum VSDs on non-dusty days. The VSD, single scattering albedo, refractive index, and asymmetry parameter values on dusty days suggested that dust aerosols were predominant over anthropogenic aerosols in these urban environments. The shortwave aerosol radiative forcing (ARF) values (on both dusty and non-dusty days) ranged between − 50 W m− 2 and − 194 W m− 2 (average: − 114 ± 40 W m− 2) at the earth's surface, and between − 31 W m− 2 and − 105 W m− 2 (average: − 58 ± 25 W m− 2) at the top of the atmosphere (TOA). The longwave aerosol ARF values ranged between + 6 W m− 2 and + 20 W m− 2 (average: + 12 ± 4 W m− 2) at the earth's surface, and between + 7 W m− 2 and + 30 W m− 2 (average: + 16 ± 7 W m− 2) at the TOA. Longwave radiations therefore produced significant warming, both at the TOA and at the earth's surface.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/88054/
Document Type:Article
Title:Changes in aerosol optical properties due to dust storms in the Middle East and Southwest Asia
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Alam, Khankhanalam (at) upesh.edu.pkUNSPECIFIED
Trautmann, ThomasDLR-MFUNSPECIFIED
Blaschke, ThomasDepartment of Geoinformatics Z_GIS, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunner Strasse 34, 5020 Salzburg, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Subhan, FazliGovernment Post graduate College, Swabi, KPK, PakistanUNSPECIFIED
Date:31 January 2014
Journal or Publication Title:Remote Sensing of Environment
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:143
DOI :http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2013.12.021
Page Range:pp. 216-227
Editors:
EditorsEmail
Bauer, MarvinUniversity of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0034-4257
Status:Published
Keywords:Dust storms, aerosol optical depth, size distribution, single scattering albedo, radiative transfer, radiative forcing
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Entwicklung von Atmosphärenprozessoren (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Remote Sensing Technology Institute > Atmospheric Processors
Deposited By: Trautmann, Prof.Dr. Thomas
Deposited On:05 Feb 2014 08:39
Last Modified:05 Feb 2014 08:39

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