Aerosol optical properties over east Asia determined from ground-based sky radiation measurements

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Abstract

[1] Aerosol optical properties (aerosol optical thickness, Ångström exponent, size distribution, and single scattering albedo) over east Asia were examined using long-term measurements of sky radiation at Mandalgovi, Dunhuang, Yinchuan, and Sri-Samrong sites of the Skyradiometer Network (SKYNET). Also included were sky radiation measurements at Anmyon, Gosan in Korea, and Amami-Oshima in Japan during April for examining optical properties of Asian dust. Results show that the seasonal average of aerosol optical thickness (AOT) generally exhibits a maximum in spring and a minimum in autumn over east Asia. At Sri-Samrong and Yinchuan, relatively distinct seasonal cycles are noted, in comparison to the arid desert regions of Dunhuang and Mandalgovi. In general, aerosol size distributions are characterized by a bimodal pattern, with a fine mode around 0.2 μm and a coarse mode around 2−5 μm. Similar to AOT and α, volume spectra are also much dependent on geographical location and season. Dunhuang mostly shows coarse mode particles in all seasons, while Mandalgovi and Sri-Samrong show large seasonal variations in the total volume of fine mode particles. The single scattering albedos of dust particles over east Asia are around 0.9 at 0.5 μm, which are larger than the previously known values of 0.63–0.89 but similar to those found in the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) analysis. It is noted that the optical properties of Asian dust around Korea and Japan are quite similar to those found in dust source regions such as Dunhuang and Mandalgovi. However, the single scattering albedo appears to be smaller than those observed in Dunhuang and Mandalgovi. Furthermore, single scattering albedo tends to become smaller during the dust outbreak period. Considering that aerosols in Korean and Japanese areas are much influenced by anthropogenic aerosols emitted in China particularly under the westerly conditions, the mixing processes between different aerosol species may be the cause of the different optical properties of Asian dust.

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