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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 14 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 14 Jan 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Multidecadal trend analysis of aerosol radiative properties at a global scale

Martine Collaud Coen1, Elisabeth Andrews2,3, Andrés Alastuey4, Todor Petkov Arsov5, John Backman6, Benjamin T. Brem7, Nicolas Bukowiecki8, Cédric Couret9, Konstantinos Eleftheriadis10, Harald Flentje11, Markus Fiebig12, Martin Gysel-Beer7, Jenny L. Hand13, András Hoffer14, Rakesh Hooda4,15, Christoph Hueglin16, Warren Joubert17, Melita Keywood18, Jeong Eun Kim19, Sang-Woo Kim20, Casper Labuschagne17, Neng-Huei Lin21, Yong Lin12, Cathrine Lund Myhre12, Krista Luoma22, Hassan Lyamani23,24, Angela Marinoni25, Olga L. Mayol-Bracero26, Nikos Mihalopoulos27, Marco Pandolfi4, Natalia Prats28, Anthony J. Prenni29, Jean-Philippe Putaud30, Ludwig Ries9, Fabienne Reisen18, Karine Sellegri31, Sangeeta Sharma32, Patrick Sheridan3, James Patrick Sherman33, Junying Sun34, Gloria Titos23,24, Elvis Torres26, Thomas Tuch35, Rolf Weller36, Alfred Wiedensohler35, Paul Zieger37,38, and Paolo Laj39,40,41 Martine Collaud Coen et al.
  • 1Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology, MeteoSwiss, Payerne, Switzerland
  • 2Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3NOAA/Earth Systems Research Laboratory Boulder, CO, USA
  • 4Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA), Spanish Research Council (CSIC), Barcelona, Spain
  • 5Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 6Atmospheric composition research, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 7Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen PSI, Switzerland
  • 8Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  • 9German Environment Agency (UBA), Zugspitze, Germany
  • 10Institute of Nuclear and Radiological Science & Technology, Energy & Safety N.C.S.R. Demokritos, Attiki, Greece
  • 11German Weather Service, Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeissenberg, Hohenpeißenberg, Germany
  • 12NILU – Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway
  • 13Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • 14MTA-PE Air Chemistry Research Group, Veszprém, Hungary
  • 15The Energy and Resources Institute, IHC, Lodhi Road, New Delhi, India
  • 16Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Duebendorf, Switzerland
  • 17South African Weather Service, Research Department, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • 18CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, PMB1 Aspendale VIC, Australia
  • 19Environmental Meteorology Research Division, National Institute of Meteorological Sciences, Seogwipo, Korea
  • 20School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
  • 21Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Central University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
  • 22Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • 23Andalusian Institute for Earth System Research, IISTA-CEAMA, University of Granada, Junta de Andalucía, Granada, Spain
  • 24Department of Applied Physics, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
  • 25Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council of Italy, Bologna, Italy
  • 26University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • 27Environmental Chemistry Processes Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece
  • 28Izaña Atmospheric Research Center, State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), Tenerife, Spain
  • 29National Park Service, Air Resources Division, Lakewood, CO, USA
  • 30European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy
  • 31Université Clermont Auvergne, CNRS, Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique (LaMP), Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • 32Climate Chemistry Measurements Research, Climate Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, Canada
  • 33Department of Physics and Astronomy, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC USA
  • 34State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather & Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry of CMA, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 35Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Leipzig, Germany
  • 36Glaciology Department, Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz Zentrum für Polar-und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 37Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 38Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 39Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IRD, Grenoble-INP, IGE, 38000 Grenoble, France
  • 40CNR-ISAC, National Research Council of Italy – Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Bologna, Italy
  • 41University of Helsinki, Atmospheric Science division, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. In order to assess the global evolution of aerosol parameters affecting climate change, a long-term trend analyses of aerosol optical properties were performed on time series from 52 stations situated across five continents. The time series of measured scattering, backscattering and absorption coefficients as well as the derived single scattering albedo, backscattering fraction, scattering and absorption Ångström exponents covered at least 10 years and up to 40 years for some stations. The non-parametric seasonal Mann–Kendall (MK) statistical test associated with several prewhitening methods and with the Sen's slope were used as main trend analysis methods. Comparisons with General Least Mean Square associated with Autoregressive Bootstrap (GLS/ARB) and with standard Least Mean Square analysis (LMS) enabled confirmation of the detected MK statistically significant trends and the assessment of advantages and limitations of each method. Currently, scattering and backscattering coefficients trends are mostly decreasing in Europe and North America and are not statistically significant in Asia, while polar stations exhibit a mix of increasing and decreasing trends. A few increasing trends are also found at some stations in North America and Australia. Absorption coefficients time series also exhibit primarily decreasing trends. For single scattering albedo, 52 % of the sites exhibit statistically significant positive trends, mostly in Asia, Eastern/Northern Europe and Arctic, 18 % of sites exhibit statistically significant negative trends, mostly in central Europe and central North America, while the remaining 30 % of sites have trends, which are not statistically significant. In addition to evaluating trends for the overall time series, the evolution of the trends in sequential 10 year segments was also analyzed. For scattering and backscattering, statistically significant increasing 10 year trends are primarily found for earlier periods (10 year trends ending in 2010–2015) for polar stations and Mauna Loa. For most of the stations, the present-day statistically significant decreasing 10 year trends of the single scattering albedo were preceded by not statistically significant and statistically significant increasing 10 year trends. The effect of air pollution abatement policies in continental North America is very obvious in the 10 year trends of the scattering coefficient – there is a shift to statistically significant negative trends in 2010–2011 for all stations in the eastern and central US. This long-term trend analysis of aerosol radiative properties with a broad spatial coverage enables a better global view of potential aerosol effects on climate changes.

Martine Collaud Coen et al.

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Martine Collaud Coen et al.

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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Long-term trends of aerosol radiative properties (52 stations) prove that the aerosol load has significantly decreased over the last 20 years. Scattering trends are negative in Europe (EU) and North America (NA), not s.s. in Asia, and exhibit a mix of positive and negative trends at polar stations. Absorption has mainly negative trends. The single scattering albedo has positive trends in Asia and Eastern EU and negative in Western EU and NA leading to global positive median trend of 0.02 %/y.
Long-term trends of aerosol radiative properties (52 stations) prove that the aerosol load has...