Articles | Volume 16, issue 19
Research article
 | Highlight paper
12 Oct 2023
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 12 Oct 2023

Linear polarization signatures of atmospheric dust with the SolPol direct-sun polarimeter

Vasiliki Daskalopoulou, Panagiotis I. Raptis, Alexandra Tsekeri, Vassilis Amiridis, Stelios Kazadzis, Zbigniew Ulanowski, Vassilis Charmandaris, Konstantinos Tassis, and William Martin


Interactive discussion

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2023-121', Anonymous Referee #1, 05 Jul 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2023-121', Anonymous Referee #2, 18 Jul 2023

Peer review completion

AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision | EF: Editorial file upload
AR by Vasiliki Daskalopoulou on behalf of the Authors (18 Aug 2023)  Author's response   Author's tracked changes   Manuscript 
ED: Referee Nomination & Report Request started (21 Aug 2023) by Andrew Sayer
RR by Anonymous Referee #2 (24 Aug 2023)
ED: Publish as is (25 Aug 2023) by Andrew Sayer
AR by Vasiliki Daskalopoulou on behalf of the Authors (06 Sep 2023)  Author's response   Manuscript 
Executive editor
From the handling editor : I think this paper is of particular interest to the geoscience community (following peer review) though likely too arcane for broader public/media. There's been a lot of discussion of the potential for preferentially oriented dust particles and this has impacts for remote sensing and modeling. So this seems to be an important step towards real characterisation of them. I agree with the authors' provided comment here so reproduce it below: Atmospheric dust particles with irregular shapes may present a preferential orientation in the Earth's atmosphere. This alignment can be detected from the resulting dichroic extinction of the transmitted sunlight through the elevated dust layers. Since mineral dust is one of the most abundant atmospheric aerosols and plays a significant role to the radiative forcing of the global climate, the somewhat elusive observation of particle orientation will be a game changer to existing remote sensing measurement techniques and the implementation of particle dynamics in desert dust transport models. With our research, we utilize a specifically designed direct sun Solar Polarimeter (SolPol), installed and operated on a remote observatory in Greece, and report on unique observations of enhanced linear polarization during dust events. We aim to interpret our measurements as the first observations of atmospheric dust particle orientation by measuring direct sunlight.
Short summary
Atmospheric dust particles may present a preferential alignment due to their shape on long range transport. Since dust is abundant and plays a key role to global climate, the elusive observation of orientation will be a game changer to existing measurement techniques and the representation of particles in climate models. We utilize a specifically designed instrument, SolPol, and target the Sun from the ground for large polarization values under dusty conditions, a clear sign of orientation.