Characteristics of atmospheric aerosol optical depth variation in China during 1993-2012

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Xiaofeng Xu1, Jinhuan Qiu2, Xiangao Xia2, Ling Sun3 and Min Min3, (1)NUIST Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China, (2)Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Beijing, China, (3)National Satellite Meteorological Center of China, Beijing, China
Atmospheric aerosol optical depth (AOD) is a critical physical parameter for indicating atmospheric turbidity and aerosol content, and is also a key factor in determining the aerosol radiative forcing effects. This study gives the long-term variation characteristics of atmospheric aerosol optical depth at 14 first-class solar radiation stations in China during 1993-2012. Based on the broadband extinction method (BEM), we retrieve the AOD from the hourly accumulated direct solar radiation. Using a AOD selection method, we derive and analyze the monthly, seasonal and annual averaged AOD. The results show that (1) the mean AOD ranges from 0.135 (Lhasa) to 0.678 (Zhengzhou). Shenyang has the maximum standard deviation of 0.109, while Ejin Banner has the minimum value of 0.021. The mean value for all years and stations is 0.423. (2) At most stations, the largest AOD appears in spring and the smallest in autumn. The seasonal averaged AOD of all years and stations is 0.487 (spring), 0.456 (summer), 0.364 (autumn) and 0.381 (winter). (3) As to the variation trend, an increasing trend appeared at five stations (Kashi, Kunming, Zhengzhou, Wuhan and Shanghai), while a decreasing trend is found at two stations (Guangzhou and Beijing). After analyzing the correlations between AOD and the meteorological factors (i.e. temperature, pressure, humidity and visibility), we find that AOD has a positive correlation with temperature, and a negative correlation with pressure and visibility at most of the stations.