1Space Physics Laboratory, Astronomy and Space Physics Department, Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University, 64 Volodymyrska Str., 01601 Kyiv, Ukraine
2Astronomical Observatory, Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University, 3 Observatorna Str., 04053 Kyiv, Ukraine
3Laboratoire d'Optique Atmosphérique, LOA – UFR de Physique – Batiment P5, Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille (Lille I), 59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France
4Main Astronomical Observatory of the NAS of Ukraine, Laboratory of Atmospheric Optics, 27 Akademika Zabolotnogo Str., 03680 Kyiv, Ukraine
Abstract. The paper presents the study of aerosol variability in the period from 2003 to 2011 over Eastern Europe region with latitude ranging from 40° N to 60° N and longitude from 20° E to 50° E. The analysis was based on the POLDER/PARASOL and POLDER-2/ADEOS satellites and AERONET ground-based sunphotometer observations. The aerosol optical thickness (AOT) of the studied area is characterized by the values (referenced to 870 nm wavelength) ranging from 0.05 to 0.2 except the period of July–August 2010 with strong forest and peat wildfires when the AOT typical values range from 0.3 to 0.5. The analysis of seasonal dynamics of aerosol loading has revealed two AOT high value peaks. The first peak observed in April–May is the result of solitary transportation of Sahara dust in the atmosphere over Eastern Europe, infrequent agricultural fires, transportation of sea salt aerosols by southern winds to Ukraine and Moldova from the Black and Azov Seas. The second peak in August–September is associated with forest and peat wildfires, considerable transportation of Sahara dust and presence of soil dust aerosols due to harvesting activity. The maximum values of AOT are observed in May 2006 (0.1–0.15), April 2009 (0.07–0.15) and August 2010 (0.2–0.5). Furthermore, the study has identified a distinct pattern of anthropogenic aerosols over the industrial areas, especially in the central Ukraine, eastern Belarus, as well as Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Stavropol regions in Russia.
The comparison of the fine mode AOT (particle radius < 0.3 μm) derived by standard algorithm POLDER/PARASOL from reflected polarized radiances with those recomputed from AERONET inversions was performed over a number of AERONET sites: over Kyiv and Sevastopol sites for the period of 2008–2009 and over Moscow, Minsk, Belsk, and Moldova sites for the period of 2005–2009. The correlation coefficients are 0.78 for Moscow, 0.76 – Minsk, 0.86 – Belsk, 0.93 – Kyiv, 0.81 – Moldova and 0.63 for Sevastopol sites. The deviations are explained by the spatial inhomogeneity of the surface polarization that has stronger effect on aerosol retrieval for clear atmospheric conditions with low aerosol loading when surface impact on satellite observations is more pronounced. In addition, the preliminary analysis of the detailed aerosol properties derived by new generation PARASOL algorithm was accomplished. The AOT and single scattering albedo retrieved by the algorithm over Kyiv were compared with the closest AERONET retrievals within two hour of satellite overpass time and the stable atmospheric conditions.