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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-963
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-963
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 13 Dec 2019

Submitted as: research article | 13 Dec 2019

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Long-term profiling of aerosol light-extinction, particle mass, cloud condensation nuclei, and ice-nucleating particle concentration over Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in Central Asia

Julian Hofer1, Albert Ansmann1, Dietrich Althausen1, Ronny Engelmann1, Holger Baars1, Sabur F. Abdullaev2, and Abduvosit N. Makhmudov2 Julian Hofer et al.
  • 1Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Physical Technical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Abstract. For the first time, continuous vertically resolved long-term aerosol measurements were conducted with a state-of-the-art multiwavelength lidar over a Central Asian site. Such observations are urgently required in efforts to predict future climate and environmental conditions and to support spaceborne remote sensing (ground truth activities). The lidar observations were performed in the framework of the Central Asian Dust Experiment (CADEX) at Dushanbe, Tajikistan, from March 2015 to August 2016. An AERONET sun photometer was operated at the lidar field site. During the 18-month campaign, mixtures of continental aerosol pollution and mineral dust were frequently detected from ground to cirrus height level. Regional sources of dust and pollution as well as long-range transport of mineral dust mainly from Middle East and the Saharan deserts determine the aerosol conditions over Tajikistan. In this study, we summarize our findings and present seasonally resolved statistics regarding aerosol layering (main aerosol layer depth, lofted layer occurrence), optical properties (aerosol and dust optical thicknesses at 500–532 nm, vertically resolved light-extinction coefficient at 532 nm), profiles of dust and non-dust mass concentration and dust fraction, and profiles of particle parameters relevant for liquid-water, mixed-phase cloud and cirrus formation such as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and ice-nucleating particle (INP) concentration. The main aerosol layer over Dushanbe reaches typically 4–5 km height in spring to autumn. Frequently lofted dust-containing aerosol layers were observed at heights from 5–10 km, indicating a sensitive potential of dust to influence cloud ice formation. Typical dust mass fractions were of the order of 60–80 %. A considerable fraction is thus anthropogenic pollution and biomass burning smoke. The highest aerosol pollution levels (in the relatively shallow winter boundary layer) occur during the winter months. The seasonal mean 500 nm AOT ranges from 0.15 in winter to 0.36 in summer during the CADEX period (March 2015 to August 2016), DOTs were usually below 0.2, seasonally mean particle extinction coefficients were of the order of 100–500 Mm−1 in the main aerosol layer during the summer half year, and about 100–150 Mm−1 in winter, but mainly caused by anthropogenic haze. Accordingly, the highest dust mass concentrations occur in the summer season (200–600 μg m−3) and the lowest during the winter months (20–50 μg m−3) in the main aerosol layer. In winter, the aerosol pollution mass concentrations were 20–50 μg m−3, while during the summer half year (spring to autumn) the mass concentration caused by urban haze and biomass burning smoke decreases to 10–20 μg m−3 in the lower troposphere. The CCN concentration levels are always controlled by aerosol pollution. The INP concentrations were found to be high enough in the middle and upper troposphere to significantly influence ice formation in mixed-phase and ice clouds during spring and summer seasons.

Julian Hofer et al.

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Julian Hofer et al.

Julian Hofer et al.

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Short summary
For the first time, continuous vertically resolved long-term aerosol measurements were conducted with a state-of-the-art multiwavelength lidar over a Central Asian site. Such observations are urgently required in efforts to predict future climate and environmental conditions and to support spaceborne remote sensing (ground truth activities).
For the first time, continuous vertically resolved long-term aerosol measurements were conducted...
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