Articles | Volume 5, issue 2
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 377–388, 2012
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 377–388, 2012

Research article 17 Feb 2012

Research article | 17 Feb 2012

Effect of wind speed on aerosol optical depth over remote oceans, based on data from the Maritime Aerosol Network

A. Smirnov2,1, A. M. Sayer3,2, B. N. Holben2, N. C. Hsu2, S. M. Sakerin4, A. Macke5, N. B. Nelson6, Y. Courcoux7, T. J. Smyth8, P. Croot9, P. K. Quinn10, J. Sciare11, S. K. Gulev12, S. Piketh13, R. Losno14, S. Kinne15, and V. F. Radionov16 A. Smirnov et al.
  • 1Sigma Space Corporation, Lanham, Maryland, USA
  • 2NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
  • 3Goddard Earth Science Technology and Research – GESTAR, Columbia, Maryland, USA
  • 4Institute of Atmospheric Optics, Tomsk, Russia
  • 5Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
  • 6University of California, Santa Barbara, California, USA
  • 7Université de la Réunion, Saint Denis de la Réunion, France
  • 8Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, UK
  • 9Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, Kiel, Germany
  • 10NOAA~PMEL, Seattle, Washington, USA
  • 11Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 12P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Moscow, Russia
  • 13University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 14Université de Paris 7 et Université de Paris 12, Creteil, France
  • 15Institute for Meteorology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 16Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Abstract. The Maritime Aerosol Network (MAN) has been collecting data over the oceans since November 2006. The MAN archive provides a valuable resource for aerosol studies in maritime environments. In the current paper we investigate correlations between ship-borne aerosol optical depth (AOD) and near-surface wind speed, either measured (onboard or from satellite) or modeled (NCEP). According to our analysis, wind speed influences columnar aerosol optical depth, although the slope of the linear regression between AOD and wind speed is not steep (~0.004–0.005), even for strong winds over 10 m s−1. The relationships show significant scatter (correlation coefficients typically in the range 0.3–0.5); the majority of this scatter can be explained by the uncertainty on the input data. The various wind speed sources considered yield similar patterns. Results are in good agreement with the majority of previously published relationships between surface wind speed and ship-based or satellite-based AOD measurements. The basic relationships are similar for all the wind speed sources considered; however, the gradient of the relationship varies by around a factor of two depending on the wind data used.