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An update of the long-term trend of aerosol optical depth in the polar regions using POLAR-AOD measurements performed during the International Polar Year

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Tomasi, C. , Lupi, A. , Mazzola, M. , Stone, R. S. , Dutton, E. G. , Herber, A. , Radionov, V. , Holben, B. N. , Sorokin, M. , Sakerin, S. M. , Twerpugova, S. A. , Lanvonelli, C. , Petkov, B. and Vitale, V. (2012): An update of the long-term trend of aerosol optical depth in the polar regions using POLAR-AOD measurements performed during the International Polar Year , Atmospheric Environment., 52 , pp. 29-47 . doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.02.055,
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An updated set of time series of derived aerosol optical depth (AOD) and Ångström’s exponent a from a number of Arctic and Antarctic stations was analyzed to determine the long-term variations of these two parameters. The Arctic measurements were performed at Ny-Ålesund (1991e2010), Barrow (1977e2010) and some Siberian sites (1981e1991). The data were integrated with Level 2.0 AERONET sun-photometer measurements recorded at Hornsund, Svalbard, and Barrow for recent years, and at Tiksi for the summer 2010. The Antarctic data-set comprises sun-photometer measurements performed at Mirny (1982e2009), Neumayer (1991e2004), and Terra Nova Bay (1987e2005), and at South Pole (1977e2010). Analyses of daily mean AOD were made in the Arctic by (i) adjusting values to eliminate volcanic effects due to the El Chichón, Pinatubo, Kasatochi and Sarychev eruptions, and (ii) selecting the summer background aerosol data from those affected by forest fire smoke. Nearly null values of the long-term variation of summer background AOD were obtained at Ny-Ålesund (1991e2010) and at Barrow (1977e2010). No evidence of important variations in AOD was found when comparing the monthly mean values of AOD measured at Tiksi in summer 2010 with those derived from multi-filter actinometer measurements performed in the late 1980s at some Siberian sites. The long-term variations of seasonal mean AOD for Arctic Haze (AH) conditions and AH episode seasonal frequency were also evaluated, finding that these parameters underwent large fluctuations over the 35-year period at Ny-Ålesund and Barrow, without presenting well- defined long-term variations. A characterization of chemical composition, complex refractive index and single scattering albedo of ground-level aerosol polydispersions in summer and winterespring is also presented, based on results mainly found in the literature. The long-term variation in Antarctic AOD was estimated to be stable, within `0.10% per year, at the three coastal sites, and nearly null at South Pole, where a weak increase was only recently observed, associated with an appreciable decrease in a, plausibly due to the formation of thin stratospheric layers of ageing volcanic particles. The main characteristics of chemical composition, complex refractive index and single scattering albedo of Antarctic aerosols are also presented for coastal particles sampled at Neumayer and Terra Nova Bay, and continental particles at South Pole.

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