Over the western North Pacific, a large amount of land aerosols from Asian-Pacific countries is transported by the prevailing westerlies. This transport makes the radiative characteristics of these aerosols diverse, particularly when one compares those characteristics over the coastal sea with those over the open sea. In this paper we discuss a method that uses satellite data to obtain the single-scattering albedo (ω) and asymmetry factor (g) of atmospheric aerosols for two large-scale subdivisions-the coastal sea (within 250 km from the coast) and the open sea (the remaining area)-over the western North Pacific (110°E-180°, 20°N-50°N). Our estimation method uses satellite measurements, obtained over a six-year period (2000-2005), of aerosol optical depth (AOD) and shortwave fluxes at both the surface and the top of the atmosphere (TOA); the measurements are obtained using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES). For the two subdivisions, the estimated annual means of (ω, g) at 630 nm are significantly different: (0.94, 0.65) over the coastal sea and (0.97, 0.70) over the open sea. From a quantitative viewpoint, this result indicates that in comparison with aerosols over the open sea, those over the coastal sea show greater absorption and lesser forward scattering of solar radiation. The estimated optical properties are responsible for the aerosol surface cooling observed by MODIS and CERES, which is approximately 138 and 108 W m-2 per AOD over the coastal sea and open sea, respectively.
- Radiative forcing