Aerosol daytime variations over North and South America derived from multiyear AERONET measurements

Authors

  • Yan Zhang,

    1. Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, Maryland, USA
    2. Climate and Radiation Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
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  • Hongbin Yu,

    1. Climate and Radiation Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
    2. Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
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  • Tom F. Eck,

    1. Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, Maryland, USA
    2. Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
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  • Alexander Smirnov,

    1. Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
    2. Sigma Space Corporation, Lanham, Maryland, USA
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  • Mian Chin,

    1. Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
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  • Lorraine A. Remer,

    1. Climate and Radiation Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
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  • Huisheng Bian,

    1. Climate and Radiation Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
    2. Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
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  • Qian Tan,

    1. Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, Maryland, USA
    2. Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
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  • Robert Levy,

    1. Climate and Radiation Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
    2. Science System Application Inc., Lanham, Maryland, USA
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  • Brent N. Holben,

    1. Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
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  • Sabino Piazzolla

    1. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA
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Abstract

[1] This study analyzes the daytime variation of aerosol with seasonal distinction by using multiyear measurements from 54 of the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) sites over North America, South America, and islands in surrounding oceans. The analysis shows a wide range of daytime variability of aerosol optical depth (AOD) and Ångström exponent depending on location and season. Possible reasons for daytime variations are given. The largest AOD daytime variation range at 440 nm, up to 75%, occurs in Mexico City, with maximum AOD in the afternoon. Large AOD daytime variations are also observed in the polluted mid-Atlantic United States and West Coast with maximum AOD occurring in the afternoon in the mid-Atlantic United States, but in the morning in the West Coast. In South American sites during the biomass burning season (August to October), maximum AOD generally occurs in the afternoon. But the daytime variation becomes smaller when sites are influenced more by long-range transported smoke than by local burning. Islands show minimum AOD in the morning and maximum AOD in the afternoon. The diverse patterns of aerosol daytime variation suggest that geostationary satellite measurements would be invaluable for characterizing aerosol temporal variations on regional and continental scales. In particular, simultaneous measurements of aerosols and aerosol precursors from a geostationary satellite would greatly aid in understanding the evolution of aerosol as determined by emissions, chemical transformations, and transport processes.

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