Abstract

Aerosols affect the climate directly through absorption and reflection of sunlight back to space and indirectly by acting as cloud condensation nuclei. This paper is based on more than three decades of satellite data (1979–1994 and 1996–2012) from total ozone mapping spectrometer (TOMS) and ozone monitoring instrument (OMI), which have provided measurements of backscattered radiances in the wavelength range from 331 to 380 nm. These data have been used to determine the aerosol climatology and to investigate the influence of the aerosol index (AI) on the ultraviolet index (UVI) in coastal land areas in Serrekunda (13.28°N, 16.34°W), The Gambia, and Dar-es-Salaam (6.8°S, 39.26°E), Tanzania, as well as in inland areas in Kampala (0.19°N, 32.34°E), Uganda. Heavy aerosol loadings were found to occur in the dry seasons at all three locations. To reduce the influence of clouds, we disregarded TOMS and OMI data for days during which the UV reflectivity was larger than 9% and investigated the correlation of the AI with the UVI for the remaining days at the three locations. We found a high correlation coefficient of 0.82 for Serrekunda, but poor correlation for Kampala and Dar-es-Salaam. The average AI for Serrekunda was found to be about three times higher than that for Kampala or Dar-es-Salaam, and a positive trend was found for the AI in Kampala and Dar-es-Salaam, whereas a negative trend was found for the AI in Serrekunda.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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