Kaskaoutis, DG; Kharol, SK; Sifakis, N; Nastos, PT; Sharma, AR; Badarinath, KVS; Kambezidis, HD (2011). Satellite monitoring of the biomass-burning aerosols during the wildfires of August 2007 in Greece: Climate implications. ATMOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT, 45(3), 716-726.
Biomass burning and associated emissions of aerosols into the atmosphere play a vital role in atmospheric composition and climate change. During summer of 2007, Greece faced the worst natural disaster recorded in recent decades in terms of human losses, number of fire outbreaks and extent of the estimated burned area (more than 12% of the total forested areas in Greece). The present study aims at analyzing the impact of these fire events in western Peloponnese on atmospheric aerosol concentrations using satellite data. MODIS-derived Aerosol Optical Depth (ADD), effective radius, Angstrom exponent, mass concentration, cloud-condensation nuclei (CCN) and OMI Aerosol Index (AI), single scattering albedo, absorption and extinction optical depths were analyzed. MODIS data showed smoke plumes traversing thousands of kilometers southwards influencing the central Mediterranean as well as the north African coastal regions. These thick smoke plumes dramatically affected AOD and aerosol-mass concentrations over the region and altered the microphysical aerosol properties, such as the effective radius and absorption coefficient. Model calculations suggested that the shortwave radiation at the ground was reduced by similar to 50 Wm(2), while that at the top of the atmosphere was reduced by similar to 20 Wm(2) resulting in atmospheric heating of similar to 30 Wm(2) over the areas affected by the smoke plumes. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.