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Part of book/report

Long-term observations of aerosol optical depth and their relation to in-situ aerosol properties in the Svalbard region (LOAD-RIS)

Hansen, Georg H.; Kouremeti, Natalia; Gilardoni, Stefania; Stebel, Kerstin; Evangeliou, Nikolaos; Ritter, Christoph; Zielinski, Tymon; Herrero, Sara; Kazadzis, Stelios; Mateos, David; Mazzola, Mauro; Pakszys, Paulina; Eleftheriadis, Konstantinos

Publication details

Part of: SESS report 2022 (Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System, 2023)

Pages: 44–61

ISBN: 978-82-93871-06-4

Doi: doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7376139

Aerosols are an important constituent of the atmosphere both influencing the climate system and contributing to increasing pollution of the Arctic. At the same time, their adequate monitoring is a big challenge, as instruments on the ground only can sample aerosols in the lowermost atmosphere. For this reason, these measurements are complemented with observations of aerosol optical depth (AOD) which quantify the total amount of aerosols throughout the atmosphere from the attenuation of direct sunlight (and moonlight). This procedure requires extremely careful instrument calibration and removal of cloud contaminated data. In Svalbard, such measurements have been performed by several research groups with different instruments, mostly in Ny-Ålesund and in Hornsund, but also on research vessels offshore. In the framework of the SSF Strategic Grant project ReHearsol, all AOD data from the Svalbard region since 2002 have been collected and made available to the SIOS research community. They indicate that number and intensity of Arctic haze episodes occurring in late winter and spring have decreased consistently and significantly in the last 20 years, while pollution events in summer/early autumn, caused by boreal biomass burning, are on the rise, though not as consistently. Comparison between in-situ measurements at Gruvebadet Atmosphere Laboratory in Ny-Ålesund and AOD measurements indicate that most (more than 65%) of the episodes with high aerosol load are not captured by surface measurements. This finding does not change when one includes in-situ measurements at Zeppelin Observatory (475 m a.s.l.). Studying extensive high-AOD episodes such as those in summer 2019 requires a multi-tool approach including in-situ and remote-sensing measurements combined with model tools.