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Proceedings Paper

Attenuation Of Solar Radiation By Saharan Dust
Author(s): Patrick Minnis
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Paper Abstract

The attenuation of solar radiation by airborne Saharan dust was examined using hemispheric pyranometric data and a numerical radiative transfer routine. The analyzed data were taken as part of the GARP Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE) during several days in 1974. Changes in solar heating rates and atmospheric reflection and absorption due to the presence of dust were inferred from differences in the values computed from observations and those computed for a dust-free atmosphere. Measurements from dust-free days were analyzed to test the inference technique. It was determined that the Saharan dust increased the atmospheric reflection of shortwave radiation in the region by an average of 50% over clear sky values. Atmospheric absorption increased by an average of 9% in the presence of dust. These results yielded an average extinction of 61 Wm-2 of the incoming solar flux due to Saharan dust. Observed heating rates in the dust layer were consistently higher than could be accounted for by gaseous absorption alone. Increases in heating rates did not exceed 0.10°C hr-1.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 December 1979
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0195, Atmospheric Effects on Radiative Transfer, (19 December 1979); doi: 10.1117/12.957935
Show Author Affiliations
Patrick Minnis, Kentron International, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0195:
Atmospheric Effects on Radiative Transfer
Claus B. Ludwig, Editor(s)

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