Spatial variation of aerosol properties over Europe derived from satellite observations and comparison with model calculations 1TNO, Physics and Electronics Laboratory, PO-BOX 96864, NL-2509 JG The Hague, The Netherlands
2TNO, Institute of Environmental Science, Energy Research and Process Innovation, PO-Box 342, NL-7300 AH, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
3Utrecht University, Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, PO-Box 80005, NL-3508 TA, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Abstract. Aerosol optical depths (AOD) and
Angström coefficients over Europe were retrieved using data from the ATSR-2 radiometer on board the ESA satellite ERS-2, for August 1997. Taking
advantage of the nadir and forward view of the ATSR-2, the dual view algorithm was used
over land to eliminate the influence of the surface reflection. Over sea the AOD was retrieved
using only the forward observations. Retrieved aerosol optical properties are in good
agreement with those from ground-based sunphotometers. The AOD and Angström
coefficients together yield information on the column integrated effective aerosol distribution.
Observed regional variations of the AOD and
Angström coefficient are related to anthropogenic emissions of aerosol precursors such as
SO2 and NOx in the major European industrial and urban areas, and their subsequent transformation into the aerosol phase. The
influence of anthropogenic aerosols such as ammonium sulphate and ammonium nitrate on
the total AOD is estimated using a regional chemistry transport model. Sulphate is estimated
to contribute from 15% in very clean areas to 70% in polluted areas, the contribution of nitrate
is between 5% and 25% over most of Europe. This paper shows the great importance of
nitrate in summer over The Netherlands.
Citation: Robles González, C., Schaap, M., de Leeuw, G., Builtjes, P. J. H., and van Loon, M.: Spatial variation of aerosol properties over Europe derived from satellite observations and comparison with model calculations, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 3, 521-533, doi:10.5194/acp-3-521-2003, 2003.