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Comparison of dust optical depth from multi-sensor products and the MONARCH...

Mytilinaios, M., S. Basart, S. Ciamprone, J. Cuesta, C. Dema, E. Di Tomaso, P. Formenti, A. Gkikas, O. Jorba, R. Kahn, C. P. García-Pando, S. Trippetta, and L. Mona (2023), Comparison of dust optical depth from multi-sensor products and the MONARCH dust reanalysis over Northern Africa, the Middle East and Europe, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 5487-5516, doi:10.5194/acp-23-5487-2023.

Aerosol reanalysis datasets are model-based, observationally constrained, continuous 3D aerosol fields with a relatively high temporal frequency that can be used to assess aerosol variations and trends, climate effects, and impacts on socioeconomic sectors, such as health. Here we compare and assess the recently published MONARCH (Multiscale Online Non-hydrostatic AtmospheRe CHemistry) high-resolution regional desert dust reanalysis over northern Africa, the Middle East, and Europe (NAMEE) with a combination of ground-based observations and space-based dust retrievals and products. In particular, we compare the total and coarse dust optical depth (DOD) from the new reanalysis with DOD products derived from MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer), MISR (Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer), and IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer) spaceborne instruments. Despite the larger uncertainties, satellite-based datasets provide a better geographical coverage than ground-based observations, and the use of different retrievals and products allows at least partially overcoming some single-product weaknesses in the comparison. Nevertheless, limitations and uncertainties due to the type of sensor, its operating principle, its sensitivity, its temporal and spatial resolution, and the methodology for retrieving or further deriving dust products are factors that bias the reanalysis assessment. We, therefore, also use ground-based DOD observations provided by 238 stations of the AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork) located within the NAMEE region as a reference evaluation dataset. In particular, prior to the reanalysis assessment, the satellite datasets were evaluated against AERONET, showing moderate underestimations in the vicinities of dust sources and downwind regions, whereas small or significant overestimations, depending on the dataset, can be found in the remote regions. Taking these results into consideration, the MONARCH reanalysis assessment shows that total and coarse-DOD simulations are consistent with satellite- and ground-based data, qualitatively capturing the major dust sources in the area

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Research Program: 
Atmospheric Composition
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)
Radiation Science Program (RSP)
Climate Variability and Change Program
Terra- MISR