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Benas, N; Mourtzanou, E; Kouvarakis, G; Bais, A; Mihalopoulos, N; Vardavas, I (2013). Surface ozone photolysis rate trends in the Eastern Mediterranean: Modeling the effects of aerosols and total column ozone based on Terra MODIS data. ATMOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT, 74, 1-9.

The surface ozone photolysis rate (J((OD)-D-1)) was computed on a daily basis and on a 50 km x 50 km resolution for the 11-year period 2000-2010 at Finokalia meteorological station in Crete, Greece. A radiative transfer model was used, with climatological data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA's Terra satellite. The area is representative of the Eastern Mediterranean, a region with high variability in aerosol loads and total column ozone. Instantaneous values of J((OD)-D-1) computed from the model were validated against corresponding station measurements available during the 5-year period 2002-2006. Monthly mean values of J((OD)-D-1) during the 11-year period examined, reveal a statistically significant decreasing trend, based on Terra MODIS data, which shows an overall 13% decrease. The aerosol effect on J((OD)-D-1) varies on a daily basis, depending on the aerosol load, and can exceed -10% during dust events, with a median value of -2.3% over the whole period examined. On a seasonal basis, the aerosol effect on J((OD)-D-1) follows the seasonal pattern of the aerosol load, with higher values in spring and autumn, due to the increased Saharan dust episodes during these seasons. Linear regression analysis on monthly mean values of total column ozone revealed a statistically significant increasing trend in both Finokalia and Thessaloniki stations. Total column ozone MODIS data were validated against spectroradiometric (columnar) measurements at Thessaloniki station. Sensitivity analysis on the effect of total column ozone on J((OD)-D-1) showed that a 10% variation in total ozone causes a corresponding 15-17% change in J((OD)-D-1). These results suggest that the decreasing trend in J((OD)-D-1) found in the case of Terra MODIS should be attributed mainly to the corresponding increasing trend in total column ozone. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



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