Voss, KK; Evan, A (2020). A New Satellite-Based Global Climatology of Dust Aerosol Optical Depth. JOURNAL OF APPLIED METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY, 59(1), 83-102.

By mass, dust is the largest contributor to global aerosol burden, yet long-term observational records of dust, particularly over the ocean, are limited. Here, two nearly global observational datasets of dust aerosol optical depth tau(d) are created primarily on the basis of optical measurements of the aerosol column from 1) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite spanning from 2001 to 2018 and 2) the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) from 1981 to 2018. The quality of the new data is assessed by comparison with existing dust datasets that are spatially more limited. Between 2001 and 2018, tau(d) decreased over Asia and increased significantly over the Sahara, Middle East, and parts of eastern Europe, with the largest increase found over the Aral Sea where emissive playa surfaces have been exposed. These daily, observational, and nearly global records of dust will allow for improvement in understanding the role of dust in climate variability.