skip to main content


Title: Aerosol remote sensing in polar regions

Multi-year sets of ground-based sun-photometer measurements conducted at 12 Arctic sites and 9 Antarctic sites were examined to determine daily mean values of aerosol optical thickness τ(λ) at visible and near-infrared wavelengths, from which best-fit values of Ångström's exponent α were calculated. Analysing these data, the monthly mean values of τ(0.50 μm) and α and the relative frequency histograms of the daily mean values of both parameters were determined for winter–spring and summer–autumn in the Arctic and for austral summer in Antarctica. The Arctic and Antarctic covariance plots of the seasonal median values of α versus τ(0.50 μm) showed: (i) a considerable increase in τ(0.50 μm) for the Arctic aerosol from summer to winter–spring, without marked changes in α; and (ii) a marked increase in τ(0.50 μm) passing from the Antarctic Plateau to coastal sites, whereas α decreased considerably due to the larger fraction of sea-salt aerosol. Good agreement was found when comparing ground-based sun-photometer measurements of τ(λ) and α at Arctic and Antarctic coastal sites with Microtops measurements conducted during numerous AERONET/MAN cruises from 2006 to 2013 in three Arctic Ocean sectors and in coastal and off-shore regions of the Southern Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and the Antarcticmore » Peninsula. Lidar measurements were also examined to characterise vertical profiles of the aerosol backscattering coefficient measured throughout the year at Ny-Ålesund. Satellite-based MODIS, MISR, and AATSR retrievals of τ(λ) over large parts of the oceanic polar regions during spring and summer were in close agreement with ship-borne and coastal ground-based sun-photometer measurements. An overview of the chemical composition of mode particles is also presented, based on in-situ measurements at Arctic and Antarctic sites. Fourteen log-normal aerosol number size-distributions were defined to represent the average features of nuclei, accumulation and coarse mode particles for Arctic haze, summer background aerosol, Asian dust and boreal forest fire smoke, and for various background austral summer aerosol types at coastal and high-altitude Antarctic sites. The main columnar aerosol optical characteristics were determined for all 14 particle modes, based on in-situ measurements of the scattering and absorption coefficients. Diurnally averaged direct aerosol-induced radiative forcing and efficiency were calculated for a set of multimodal aerosol extinction models, using various Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function models over vegetation-covered, oceanic and snow-covered surfaces. These gave a reliable measure of the pronounced effects of aerosols on the radiation balance of the surface–atmosphere system over polar regions.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [11] ;  [10] ;  [12] ;  [13] more »;  [14] ;  [14] ;  [15] ;  [15] ;  [16] ;  [17] ;  [18] ;  [19] ;  [20] ;  [21] ;  [22] ;  [23] ;  [24] ;  [25] ;  [26] « less
  1. Italian National Research Council, Bologna (Italy). Inst. of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC), Climate Change Div.
  2. Univ. of Bremen (Germany). Inst. of Environmental Physics (IUP); EUMETSAT, Darmstadt (Germany)
  3. Alfred Wegener Inst. for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam (Germany). Climate Systems Div.
  4. Sigma Space Corp., Lanham, MD (Untied States); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States). Biospheric Sciences Branch
  5. Univl of Sherbrooke, Quebec (Canada). Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC) and CARTEL, Dept. of Applied Geomatics
  6. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO (United States). Global Monitoring Div.; Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Cooperative Inst. for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)
  7. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States). Biospheric Sciences Branch
  8. Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium (PMOD)/World Radiation Centre (WRC), Davos (Switzerland)
  9. Norwegian Inst. for Air Research (NILU), Kjeller (Norway)
  10. Finnish Meteorological Inst. (FMI), Helsinki (Finland). Climate and Global Change Div.
  11. Finnish Meteorological Inst. (FMI), Helsinki (Finland). Climate and Global Change Div.; Univ. of Helsinki (Finland)
  12. Alfred Wegener Inst. for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven (Germany). Climate Systems Div.
  13. Arctic and Antarctic Research Inst. (AARI), St. Petersburg (Russian Federation)
  14. Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS), Sopot (Poland). Inst. of Oceanology
  15. Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Tomsk (Russian Federation). V.E. Zuev Inst. of Atomospheric Optics (IAO), Siberian Branch
  16. London Metropolitan Univ. (United Kingdom). Life and Sciences Computing; Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China). Inst. of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Key Lab. of Digital Earth Science
  17. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China). Inst. of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Key Lab. of Digital Earth Science
  18. Univ. of Bremen (Germany). Inst. of Environmental Physics (IUP)
  19. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Environmental and Climate Sciences Dept.
  20. Environment Canada, North York, ON (Canada)
  21. Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS), Warsaw (Poland). Inst. of Geophysics
  22. Finnish Meteorological Inst. (FMI), Sodankyla (Finland). Arctic Research Center
  23. Univ. de la Reunion, CNRS, Saint Denis de la Reunion (France). Inst. de l'Atmosphere de la Reunion (OPAR)
  24. Inst. Maurice-Lamontagne, Mont-Joli, Quebec (Canada)
  25. Univ. of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa). Geography, Archeology and Environmental Science
  26. North-West Univ., Potchefstroom (South Africa). Climatology Research Group, Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0012-8252; R&D Project: 2016-BNL-EE630EECA-Budg; KP1701000
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Earth-Science Reviews
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 140; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0012-8252
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Sun-photometer measurements; Aerosol optical thickness; Polar aerosol optical characteristics; Lidar backscattering coefficient profiles; Satellite aerosol remote sensing; Multimodal aerosol extinction models
OSTI Identifier: