1Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
2NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
3Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
4Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, Maryland, USA
5Sigma Space Corporation, Lanham, Maryland, USA
Abstract. Dust optical properties over North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula are extracted from the quality assured multi-year datasets obtained at 14 sites of the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET). We select the data with (a) large aerosol optical depth (AOD ≥ 0.4 at 440 nm) and (b) small Ångström exponent (Åext ≤ 0.2) for retaining high accuracy and reducing interference of non-dust aerosols. The result indicates that the major fraction of high aerosol optical depth days are dominated by dust over these sites even though it varies depending on location and time. We have found that the annual mean and standard deviation of single scattering albedo, asymmetry parameter, real refractive index, and imaginary refractive index for Saharan and Arabian desert dust is 0.944 ± 0.005, 0.752 ± 0.014, 1.498 ± 0.032, and 0.0024 ± 0.0034 at 550 nm wavelength, respectively. Dust aerosol selected by this method is less absorbing than the previously reported values over these sites. The weaker absorption of dust from this study is consistent with the studies using remote sensing techniques from satellite. These results can help to constrain uncertainties in estimating global dust shortwave radiative forcing.