Oleg Dubovik talks with
ScienceWatch.com and answers a few questions about
this month's Emerging Research Front in the field of
Geosciences. The author has also sent along images of their
Article: Variability of absorption and optical
properties of key aerosol types observed in worldwide
O;Holben, B;Eck, TF;Smirnov, A;Kaufman,
YJ;King, MD;Tanre, D;Slutsker, I
Journal: J ATMOS SCI, 59 (3): 590-608 2002
Addresses: NASA, Goddard Space Flight Ctr, Terr Phys Lab,
Code 923, Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA.
NASA, Goddard Space Flight Ctr, Terr Phys Lab, Greenbelt,
MD 20771 USA.
Sci Syst & Applicat Inc, Lanham, MD USA.
Univ Maryland Baltimore Cty, Goddard Earth Sci &
Technol Ctr, Baltimore, MD 21228 USA.
(addresses have been truncated.)
Why do you think your paper is highly
I think this is because the paper provided, probably for the first time,
rather reliable data about aerosol absorption—property which drives
the impact of aerosol on the radiative balance of the atmosphere.
Correspondingly, the results of the paper are used in many climate studies.
In addition the climatological models of the ambient aerosol given in these
papers appear rather useful for constraining aerosol satellite retrievals.
Would you summarize the significance of your paper
in layman’s terms?
The paper summarizes multi-year aerosol observations, offering a limited
number of the models for describing the variability of the optical
properties of ambient atmospheric aerosols. Those derived models are based
on long-term observations and, therefore, they provide important
clarifications regarding such characteristics as aerosol
absorption—property that is very difficult to measure and which is
needed for estimating aerosol climate effects.
How did you become involved in this research and
were any particular problems encountered along the way?
At first, I had gotten involved in the AERONET (AERosol RObotic NETwork)
project and developed the algorithm used for deriving atmospheric aerosol
optical properties from measured radiances. Then, we wrote the paper
summarizing the results from the application of this algorithm to
multi-year AERONET observations.
Where do you see your research leading in the
I am hoping to derive important information about global aerosol properties
from satellite observations and also from their synergy with aerosol
chemical transport modeling.
Do you foresee any social or political
implications for your research?
The results are helpful for improving the estimates of global climate
change which, in principle, may have some social or political implications.
Dr. Oleg Dubovik
Research Director At University of Lille.
Université of Sciences and Technologies of Lille 1
Laboratory of Atmospheric Optics