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The Influence of Dust and Black Carbon on Clouds, in Africa

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Document pages: 11 pages

Abstract: The aerosol can change the clouds properties; the clouds, however, affect the normal behavior of aerosol optical depth. Considerable effects arise while the interaction of aerosol and clouds unavoidably encounters the presence of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in atmosphere. This research discusses the influence of two selected aerosol types, on the clouds in Africa, over the selected sub-time series in the years 1980-2018. Sahara desert’s dust is mainly constituted by hematite minerals; which, in return, is mainly composed by the iron oxides, a powerful solar and infra-red radiation absorbing matter and thus a strong and direct radiative forcing agent. For that reason, together with the fact that it is windblown over the biggest region that surrounds the desert, dust is one of the strongly considered aerosol in this research. Besides, black carbon (BC), mostly from the anthropogenic biomass burning process in the mid latitude’s African savanna, is the second aerosol type selected for this research: it is one of the abundantly available aerosol types and it is one of the strongest atmospheric radiant energy absorbers. For sake of valid and trustworthy results, the data is collected from multiple satellite remote sensing tools and instruments, all targeting the aerosol-cloud interaction and effects. In this research, different measurements were carried out; those are the spatiotemporal averaged cloud cover, the aerosol (dust and BC) extinction optical thickness (AOT), the anomaly of aerosol optical depth (AAOD) as well as different scatter plots’ correlation analysis. For findings: the direct influence of hydrophilic BC on clouds formation in central African sub-region is experimentally demonstrated; the dust aerosol highly influences the North African sub-region’s cloud formation.

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