Abou El-Magd, I; Zanaty, N; Ali, EM; Irie, H; Abdelkader, AI (2020). Investigation of Aerosol Climatology, Optical Characteristics and Variability over Egypt Based on Satellite Observations and In-Situ Measurements. ATMOSPHERE, 11(7), 714.

Egypt experiences high rates of air pollution, which is a major threat to human health and the eco-environment and therefore needs to be tackled by defining major causes to hinder or mitigate their impacts. The major driving forces of air pollution are either of local and/or regional origin. In addition, seasonal aerosols may be natural, such as dust particles transported from the western desert, or anthropogenic aerosols which are transported from industrial areas and smoke particles from seasonal biomass burning. Monitoring the optical properties of aerosols and their pattern in the atmosphere on a daily basis requires a robust source of information and professional analytical tools. This research explored the potential of using time series of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) data to comprehensively investigate the aerosol optical depth (AOD) and variability for the period 2012-2018 on a daily basis. The data show that spring, summer and autumn seasons experienced the highest anomaly originating from regional and national sources. The high AOD in spring associated with a low angstrom ngstrom exponent (AE) indicates the presence of coarse particles which naturally originate from desert dust or sea spray. In contrast, the high AE in summer and autumn demonstrated the dominance of fine anthropogenic aerosols such as smoke particles from local biomass burning. The observation of a high number of fire incidents over Egypt in October and November 2018, during the months of rice crop harvesting, showed that these incidents contribute to the presence of autumn aerosols across the country. In-situ measurements of Particulate Matter (PM10) from local stations from an environmental based network as well as the AERONET AOD were used to validate the MODIS AOD, providing a high correlation coefficient of r = 0.73.