Aerosol daytime variations over North and South America derived from multiyear...

Zhang, Y., H. Yu, T. F. Eck, A. Smirnov, M. Chin, L. Remer, H. Bian, Q. Tan, R. Levy, B. Holben, and S. Piazzolla (2012), Aerosol daytime variations over North and South America derived from multiyear AERONET measurements, J. Geophys. Res., 117, D05211, doi:10.1029/2011JD017242.

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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Tropospheric Composition Program (TCP)