Wang, D; Zhang, F; Yang, ST; Xia, N; Ariken, M (2020). Exploring the spatial-temporal characteristics of the aerosol optical depth (AOD) in Central Asia based on the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS). ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, 192(6).

Central Asia has become a key node of the belt and road corridor. It is located in arid and semi-arid climate regions, and it is a region where the contribution of global aerosols of sand and dust is continuous. However, few studies have been conducted on the Central Asian aerosol optical depth. Therefore, this paper relied on the belt and road sustainable development dataset to analyze the spatial-temporal variations in the AOD in Central Asia and provide spatial-temporal characteristics of the AOD for environmental services. We analyzed the spatial and temporal variation in the aerosol optical depth (AOD) in Central Asia by using MODIS/AQUA C6 MYD08_M3 images from 2008 to 2017. The results showed that (1) the annual average AOD in Central Asia in the past decade varied from 0.183 to 0.232, which indicated a slow decline starting in 2014. The percentage of average annual decline was approximately 0.18%, and the regular distinct revealed the distribution characteristics of AOD. In different years, the Central Asian region exhibited the similar monthly change characteristics: from July to December, the AOD decreased, and from December to February, it increased. In different seasons, the Central Asian region exhibited the different seasonal change characteristics: the AOD value was higher in the spring and summer. The mean values in the spring, summer, autumn, and winter were 0.273, 0.240, 0.155, and 0.183, respectively, and the standard deviations were 0.036, 0.038, 0.025, and 0.048, respectively. (3) Based on spatial distribution characteristics, the Tarim Basin, Aral Sea region, and Ebinur Lake area were high value areas, and Kazakhstan was a low value area. The AOD of the surrounding area of the Aral Sea had increased in the last 5 years, while that of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan had decreased. The AOD of the Taklamakan area exhibited an inter-annual change. Sand dust aerosols were the largest contributors to the AOD in the Taklamakan area. The rising trend of the AOD in the Aral Sea area was clear, with an average annual increase of 0.234%, and the contribution of salt dust aerosols to the AOD increased. The average annual AOD in the Ebinur Lake area remained stable.