Spatio-temporal Variability of Aerosol Optical Depth in the UAE Using MODIS Data



Alhebsi, Khawla

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Natural and anthropogenic aerosols over the Arabian Peninsula play a major role in regional and global climate change, influencing radiation budget, and affecting regional hydrological cycle. The interactions between atmospheric aerosols and solar radiation via the scattering and absorption processes significantly affect the Earth's radiative budget and introduce great uncertainties in global climate models ( (Ackerman, et al., 2000); (Haywood, Roberts, Slingo, & Edwards, 1997). Moreover, high concentrations of aerosols at local scale due to natural or anthropogenic activities have adverse effects on human health including cancers, pulmonary inflammation and cardiopulmonary mortality (Atkinson, et al., 2001); (Pope, et al., 2002). Monitoring the high temporal and spatial variability of aerosol concentrations require regular measurements of their optical properties such as aerosol optical depth (AOD). AOD is defined as the extinction coefficient of solar light in the atmosphere due to aerosols.This research uses the Moderate xi Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) AOD product at 1km resolution, for investigating the factors affecting its spatiotemporal variability of over the UAE. This study attempts to investigate the primary reasons that governs AOD variability over the UAE from a meteorological variables perspective. The significant findings are AOD strength over the coastal areas, and southwest direction from the UAE, natural dust storms with the meteorological variables increase the level of AOD (positive linear correlation in both temperature and wind speed). Finally, the summer and spring seasons contribute to the most extent of AOD over the region.



Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD), UAE, Atmospheric science, MODIS, Meteorological variables, Dust storm