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Annales Geophysicae An open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Ann. Geophys., 34, 1031-1044, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-34-1031-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Regular paper
17 Nov 2016
Analysis of aerosol absorption properties and transport over North Africa and the Middle East using AERONET data
Ashraf Farahat1,2, Hesham El-Askary3,4,5, Peter Adetokunbo6, and Abu-Tharr Fuad7 1Department of Prep Year Physics, College of Applied and Supporting Studies, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Moharam Beek, Alexandria University, Alexandria, 21522, Egypt
3Center of Excellence in Earth Systems Modeling and Observations, Chapman University, Orange, CA 92866, USA
4Schmid College of Science and Technology, Chapman University, CA 92866, USA
5Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Moharam Beek, Alexandria University, Alexandria, 21522, Egypt
6Department of Geology, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA
7Department of Chemistry and Earth Science, College of Arts & Science, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar
Abstract. In this paper particle categorization and absorption properties were discussed to understand transport mechanisms at different geographic locations and possible radiative impacts on climate. The long-term Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) data set (1999–2015) is used to estimate aerosol optical depth (AOD), single scattering albedo (SSA), and the absorption Ångström exponent (αabs) at eight locations in North Africa and the Middle East. Average variation in SSA is calculated at four wavelengths (440, 675, 870, and 1020 nm), and the relationship between aerosol absorption and physical properties is used to infer dominant aerosol types at different locations. It was found that seasonality and geographic location play a major role in identifying dominant aerosol types at each location. Analyzing aerosol characteristics among different sites using AERONET Version 2, Level 2.0 data retrievals and the Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory model (HYSPLIT) backward trajectories shows possible aerosol particle transport among different locations indicating the importance of understanding transport mechanisms in identifying aerosol sources.

Citation: Farahat, A., El-Askary, H., Adetokunbo, P., and Fuad, A.-T.: Analysis of aerosol absorption properties and transport over North Africa and the Middle East using AERONET data, Ann. Geophys., 34, 1031-1044, https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-34-1031-2016, 2016.
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Short summary
The Middle East capitals are subjected to numerous dust storms along with local emissions and/or those transported from biomass burning or industrial activities. A combination of these aerosols results in poor air quality and poses significant health hazards. We investigated the transport of aerosols and their impact on the air quality using different parameters derived from the AERONET ground observations.
The Middle East capitals are subjected to numerous dust storms along with local emissions and/or...
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