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Reduction of aerosol absorption in Beijing since 2007 from MODIS and AERONET

Lyapustin, A., A. Smirnov, B. Holben, M. Chin, D. Streets, Z. Lu, R. Kahn, I. Slutsker, I. Laszlo, S. Kondragunta, D. Tanré, O. Dubovik, P. Goloub, H. ‐b. Chen, A. Sinyuk, Y. Wang, and S. Korkin (2011), Reduction of aerosol absorption in Beijing since 2007 from MODIS and AERONET, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L10803, doi:10.1029/2011GL047306.

An analysis of the time series of MODIS‐based and AERONET aerosol records over Beijing reveals two distinct periods, before and after 2007. The MODIS data from both the Terra and Aqua satellites were processed with the new Multi‐Angle Implementation of Atmospheric Correction (MAIAC) algorithm. A comparison of MAIAC and AERONET AOT shows that whereas MAIAC consistently underestimated peak AOT values by 10–20% in the prior period, the bias mostly disappears after mid‐ 2007. Independent analysis of the AERONET dataset reveals little or no change in the effective radii of the fine and coarse fractions and of the Ångström exponent. At the same time, it shows an increasing trend in the single scattering albedo, by ∼0.02 in 9 years. As MAIAC was using the same aerosol model for the entire 2000–2010 period, the decrease in AOT bias after 2007 can be explained only by a corresponding decrease of aerosol absorption caused by a reduction in local black carbon emissions. The observed changes correlate in time with the Chinese government’s broad measures to improve air quality in Beijing during preparations for the Summer Olympics of 2008.

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