|Publicerad i||Atmospheric Environment|
Institutionen för geovetenskaper
|Ämnesord||Aerosol optical depth, Clear-sky, Global radiation, Visibility|
|Ämneskategorier||Meteorologi och atmosfärforskning, Klimatforskning, Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap|
Global radiation over China decreased between the 1960s and 1990, since when it has remained stable. As the total cloud cover has continued to decrease since the 1960s, variations in aerosols were suggested in previous studies to be the primary cause for variations in global radiation over China. However, the effect of aerosols on global radiation on a decadal scale has not been physically quantified over China. In this study, aerosol optical depth (AOD) data since 1980 are estimated by combining horizontal visibility data at stations in China and AOD observed by the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS). It is found that the AOD exhibits decadal changes, with two decreasing periods (before the end of 1980s and after 2006) and one increasing period (from 1990 to 2006). With the derived AOD, a clear-sky model is then applied to quantify the role of aerosols in the variations in global radiation over China. The results show that aerosol direct effect cannot fully explain the decadal variations in the global radiation over China between 1980 and 2010, though it has a considerable effect on global radiation climatology. There are significant differences between the trends of clear-sky global radiation impacted by aerosols and those of all-sky global radiation impacted by aerosols and clouds, and the correlation coefficient for the comparison is very low. Therefore, the variations in all-sky global radiation over China are likely to be due to changes in cloud properties and to interactions between clouds and aerosols.