A North American Arctic Aerosol Climatology using Ground-based Sunphotometry
The Arctic is known as a key area for the detection of climate changes and atmospheric pollution on a global scale. In this paper we describe a new Canadian sunphotometer network called AEROCAN, whose primary mandate is to establish a climatology of atmospheric aerosols. This network is part of AERONET, the worldwide federated sunphotometer network managed by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The potential of sunphotometer data from the AERONET/AEROCAN network for monitoring of Arctic aerosols is illustrated, using examples of the multiyear variation of aerosol optical properties and atmospheric precipitable water vapour content at some stations, and in particular at Bonanza Creek, Alaska since 1994. Despite its sparse spatial density, the network represents an important tool for monitoring the spatio-temporal variation of Arctic aerosols. It also represents an important source of independent aerosol data, which we feel should be further developed in northern areas to improve our understanding of how atmospheric aerosols influence global climate.