Long-term (1995-2018) aerosol optical depth derived using ground based AERONET and SKYNET measurements from aerosol aged-background sites
We examined long-term aerosol optical depth (AOD) trends over 53 sites across the globe which comprise 49 sites from the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) and 4 sites from the Sky radiometer Network (SKYNET) during 1995–2018. Most of these sites are located in remote and isolated aged-background regions, and few are in urban/semi-urban sites having averaged AOD ∼0.1 at 500 nm. These selected sites have a global distribution including tropical, mid-latitudes, high-latitudes and Polar regions. Among them, there are 14 high-altitude stations (∼1028–5050 m amsl), including Himalayan and Polar regions. The main objective of the present work is to evaluate the AOD trends over the aged-background sites across the globe. We found that significant number of sites located in North-South America, Europe, Arctic and Australia have statistically significant and negative trends varied from −6.3x
AOD year−1. The negative trends over these sites could be attributed to reduction in anthropogenic emission. Furthermore, there are mixed trends of positive as well as negative over Asian and southern oceanic regions including Antarctica. Some of the trends are weak and statistically non-significant, probably due to non-availability of long-term ground based data. However, the AOD trends over these regions show increasing tendency with statistically significant trends of 8.0x
AOD year−1. The present study has also many important aspects on global and regional climate change at high-mountain and aged-background sites in particular, where the satellite based measurements are inaccurate and biased due to extremely low AOD.