Aerosol Properties and Associated Radiative Effects Over Cairo (Egypt)

El-Metwally, M., S. C. Alfaro, A. M. M. Wahab, O. Favez, Z. Mohamed, and B. Chatenet, "Aerosol Properties and Associated Radiative Effects Over Cairo (Egypt)", Journal of atmospheric Research, vol. 99, pp. 236-276, 2011.


Cairo is one of the largest megacities in the World and the particle load of its atmosphere is known to be particularly important. In this work we aim at assessing the temporal variability of the aerosol's characteristics and the magnitude of its impacts on the transfer of solar radiation. For this we use the level 2 quality assured products obtained by inversion of the instantaneous AERONET sunphotometer measurements performed in Cairo during the Cairo Aerosol Characterization Experiment (CACHE), which lasted from the end of October 2004 to the end of March 2006. The analysis of the temporal variation of the aerosol's optical depth (AOD) and spectral dependence suggests that the aerosol is generally a mixture of at least 3 main components differing in composition and size. This is confirmed by the detailed analysis of the monthly-averaged size distributions and associated optical properties (single scattering albedo and asymmetry parameter). The components of the aerosol are found to be 1) a highly absorbing background aerosol produced by daily activities (traffic, industry), 2) an additional, ‘pollution’ component produced by the burning of agricultural wastes in the Nile delta, and 3) a coarse desert dust component. In July, an enhancement of the accumulation mode is observed due to the atmospheric stability favoring its building up and possibly to secondary aerosols being produced by active photochemistry. More generally, the time variability of the aerosol's characteristics is due to the combined effects of meteorological factors and seasonal production processes. Because of the large values of the AOD achieved during the desert dust and biomass burning.



CU-PDF.pdf1.15 MB