Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

15-Year Analysis of Direct Effects of Total and Dust Aerosols in Solar Radiation/Energy Over the Mediterranean Basin

Version 1 : Received: 27 January 2022 / Approved: 1 February 2022 / Online: 1 February 2022 (10:58:53 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Papachristopoulou, K.; Fountoulakis, I.; Gkikas, A.; Kosmopoulos, P.G.; Nastos, P.T.; Hatzaki, M.; Kazadzis, S. 15-Year Analysis of Direct Effects of Total and Dust Aerosols in Solar Radiation/Energy over the Mediterranean Basin. Remote Sens. 2022, 14, 1535. Papachristopoulou, K.; Fountoulakis, I.; Gkikas, A.; Kosmopoulos, P.G.; Nastos, P.T.; Hatzaki, M.; Kazadzis, S. 15-Year Analysis of Direct Effects of Total and Dust Aerosols in Solar Radiation/Energy over the Mediterranean Basin. Remote Sens. 2022, 14, 1535.

Journal reference: Remote Sens. 2022, 14, 1535
DOI: 10.3390/rs14071535

Abstract

The direct radiative effects of atmospheric aerosols are essential for climate, as well as for other societal areas, like the energy sector. The goal of the present study is to exploit the newly devel-oped ModIs Dust AeroSol (MIDAS) dataset for quantifying the direct effects on the downwelling surface solar irradiance (DSSI), induced by the total and dust aerosols amount, under clear-sky conditions and the associated impacts on solar energy for the broader Mediterranean basin, over the period 2003 – 2017. Aerosol optical depth (AOD) and dust optical depth (DOD) derived by the MIDAS dataset, along with additional aerosol and dust optical properties and atmospheric variables were used as inputs to radiative transfer modeling to simulate DSSI components. A 15-year climatology of AOD, DOD and of clear-sky Global Horizontal Irradiation (GHI) and Direct Normal Irradiation (DNI) was derived. The spatial and temporal variability of the aerosol and dust effects on the different DSSI components was assessed. Aerosol attenuation of annual GHI and DNI range from 1-13% and 5-47%, respectively. Significant attenuation by dust 2-10% and 9-37% was found over North Africa and the Middle East, contributing to 45-90% of the total aero-sol effects. The mean GHI and DNI attenuation during extreme dust episodes reached values up to 12% and 44%, respectively, for different areas. After 2008 a decline of aerosol effects on DSSI was found, attributed mainly to the dust component. Sensitivity analysis using different AOD/DOD inputs from Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) reanalysis dataset, revealed CAMS underestimation of aerosol and dust radiative effects compared to MIDAS, due to slight AOD and stronger DOD underestimation, respectively.

Keywords

aerosols; dust; direct radiative effects; solar energy; Mediterranean basin

Subject

EARTH SCIENCES, Atmospheric Science

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