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Volume 15, issue 10
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 5521-5535, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-5521-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 5521-5535, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-5521-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 21 May 2015

Research article | 21 May 2015

AOD trends during 2001–2010 from observations and model simulations

A. Pozzer1, A. de Meij2, J. Yoon1, H. Tost3, A. K. Georgoulias4,5,6, and M. Astitha7 A. Pozzer et al.
  • 1Atmospheric Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 2Sustainable Development, NOVELTIS, rue du Lac, 31670 Labège, France
  • 3Institute for Physics of the Atmosphere, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany
  • 4Department of Meteorology and Climatology, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 5Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 6Energy, Environment and Water Research Center, The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • 7The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA

Abstract. The aerosol optical depth (AOD) trend between 2001 and 2010 is estimated globally and regionally from observations and results from simulations with the EMAC (ECHAM5/MESSy Atmospheric Chemistry) model. Although interannual variability is applied only to anthropogenic and biomass-burning emissions, the model is able to quantitatively reproduce the AOD trends as observed by the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) satellite sensor, while some discrepancies are found when compared to MISR (Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer) and SeaWIFS (Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor) observations. Thanks to an additional simulation without any change in emissions, it is shown that decreasing AOD trends over the US and Europe are due to the decrease in the emissions, while over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East region, the meteorological changes play a major role. Over Southeast Asia, both meteorology and emissions changes are equally important in defining AOD trends. Additionally, decomposing the regional AOD trends into individual aerosol components reveals that the soluble components are the most dominant contributors to the total AOD, as their influence on the total AOD is enhanced by the aerosol water content.

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Thanks to numerical simulations and satellite observations, it is shown that aerosol optical depth (AOD) trends (2000--2010 period) over the US and Europe are due to emission decrease, while over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East they are due to meteorological changes. Over Southeast Asia, both meteorology and emission changes are important for the AOD trends. It is shown that soluble components strongly influence AOD, as their contribution is enhanced by the aerosol water content.
Thanks to numerical simulations and satellite observations, it is shown that aerosol optical...
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