Study of long-term trend in aerosol optical thickness observed from operational AVHRR satellite instrument



[1] The long-term trend of aerosol optical thickness (AOT) over the global oceans has been studied by using a nearly 25-year aerosol record from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Pathfinder Atmosphere extended (PATMOS-x) data set. Both global and regional analyses have been performed to derive the AOT tendencies for monthly, seasonal, and annual mean AOT values at AVHRR 0.63 μm channel (or Channel-1). A linear decadal change of −0.01 is obtained for globally and monthly averaged aerosol optical thickness, τ1, of AVHRR Channel-1. This negative tendency is even more evident for globally and annually averaged τ1 and the magnitude can be up to −0.03/decade. Seasonal patterns in the AOT regional long-term trend are evident. In general, negative tendencies are observed for seasonally averaged τ1 in regions influenced by emissions from industrialized countries and the magnitude can be up to −0.10/decade. Positive tendencies are observed in regions influenced by emissions from fast developing countries and the magnitude can be up to +0.04/decade. For regions heavily influenced by Saharan desert particles, a negative trend with a maximum magnitude of −0.03/decade is detected. However, over regions influenced by smoke from biomass burning, positive tendencies with a maximum magnitude of +0.04/decade are observed. Sensitivity analyses have also been performed to study the effects of radiance calibration, aerosol retrieval algorithm, and spatial resolution of input retrieval radiances on the global aerosol long-term tendencies.