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Original Research Papers

Solar dimming and brightening over Thessaloniki, Greece, and Beijing, China

Authors:

C. S. Zerefos ,

Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens; National Observatory of Athens; Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment, University of Athens; Research Centre for Atmospheric Physics & Climatology, Academy of Athens, GR
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K. Eleftheratos,

Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens; Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment, University of Athens, GR
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C. Meleti,

Department of Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GR
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S. Kazadzis,

National Observatory of Athens, GR; Finnish Meteorological Institute, Research and Development, FI
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A. Romanou,

Research Centre for Atmospheric Physics & Climatology, Academy of Athens, GR
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C. Ichoku,

Climate & Radiation Branch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre, US
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G. Tselioudis,

Research Centre for Atmospheric Physics & Climatology, Academy of Athens, GR
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A. Bais

Department of Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GR
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Abstract

This work presents evidence that ultraviolet (UV)-A solar irradiances show increasing trends at Thessaloniki, Greece, where air quality has been improving because of air pollution abatement strategies. In contrast, over Beijing, China, where air quality measures were taken later, solar brightening was delayed. It is shown that until the early 1990s, UV-A irradiances over Thessaloniki show a downward trend of –0.5% yr−1, which reverses sign and becomes positive in the last decade (+0.8% yr−1). This brightening is related to a decreasing trend in local aerosol amounts. Both the negative rate of change (dimming) and the positive rate of change (brightening) are amplified in the UV-A solar irradiances, compared with the total solar irradiance, by a factor of 2.6. Satellite derived short-wave radiation over Beijing showed negative changes of –0.4% (1984–1991) and –0.1% yr−1 during 1994–2006. The negative trend in solar radiation continued even during 2000–2006. Satellite-derived aerosol optical depth (AOD) increased by +1.0% yr−1 during 2000–2006, in agreement with in situ measurements of increasing AOD. Therefore, a statistically significant change from dimming to brightening in Beijing could not be seen in the last decade, but it is expected to occur in the near future.

How to Cite: Zerefos, C.S., Eleftheratos, K., Meleti, C., Kazadzis, S., Romanou, A., Ichoku, C., Tselioudis, G. and Bais, A., 2009. Solar dimming and brightening over Thessaloniki, Greece, and Beijing, China. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 61(4), pp.657–665. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0889.2009.00425.x
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  Published on 01 Jan 2009
 Accepted on 2 Apr 2009            Submitted on 30 Jul 2008

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