Study of aerosol optical properties in the Middle East during 2013

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran

2 Department of Physics, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan


     Aerosols affect the earth's atmospheric radiative fluxes via direct, semi-direct, and indirect mechanisms. Aerosols also are one of the main sources of uncertainty in climate models. In the Middle East, in addition to climate effects, various problems such as reduced visibility, human health hazards, and air pollution are caused by aerosols. Studying the optical and physical properties of aerosols on local and global scales helps reduce the uncertainties in climate forcing. In this study, aerosol optical properties, including Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD), Angstrom Exponent (AE), ASYmmetry parameter (ASY), Single Scattering Albedo (SSA), and phase function were analyzed. These properties were investigated over five sites in the Middle East during 2013 using the Aerosol Robotic NETwork (AERONET) data. The results revealed an inverse relationship between AOD and AE in all sites. A high AOD value and a low AE value were detected in spring and summer in all studied sites, suggestive of coarse mode dust particles. ASY initially decreased due to the dominance of absorbing type aerosols in the visible spectrum with the increase in wavelength. Afterwards, ASY increased with the increase in wavelength in the infrared region due to the dominance of the coarse mode particles. In most sites, SSA increased, particularly in spring and summer, with the increase in the wavelength because of the dominance of desert dust. In spring and summer, the phase function was high over all sites. High phase functions associated with small scattering angles were caused by the coarse mode particles.