Aerosol optical properties and radiative effect determined from sky-radiometer over Loess Plateau of Northwest China
1Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education and College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000, China
2LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
3Center for Environmental Remote Sensing, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
Abstract. The aerosol optical properties and their associated radiative effects are derived from sky-radiometer and surface solar radiation data collected over the Semi-Arid Climate and Environment Observatory of Lanzhou University (SACOL) for the period of March to May (MAM) 2009. The result shows that the seasonal mean aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 500 nm in MAM is 0.40. The single scattering albedo (SSA) at 500 nm in MAM at SACOL fluctuates significantly ranging from 0.82 to 0.98. The averaged value of SSA there for background aerosol is 0.90 in MAM, while it is smaller (0.87) during the dust event outbreak period. The smaller SSA can be interpreted as the result of larger particles during dust events. The averaged asymmetry factor (ASY) at 500 nm during dust event period is 0.73, which is larger than 0.70 of background aerosols. The averaged shortwave radiative effects of the aerosols during dust event period in MAM are 0.68, −70.02 and 70.70 W m−2, respectively, at the top of the atmosphere (TOA), surface and in the atmosphere. The aerosols heat the atmosphere during dust event period by up to about 2 K day−1 (daily averaged), which is 60 % larger than the heating (1.25 K day−1) of background aerosols. The significant heating effect in the atmosphere of the aerosols during dust event is determined by larger AOD and smaller SSA.