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EMERGING RESEARCH FRONTS - 2008

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 work.
Dubovik Article: Variability of absorption and optical properties of key aerosol types observed in worldwide locations
Authors: Dubovik, 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 cited?

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?

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Click figure to enlarge and read description.

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 future?

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
Lille, France

RELATED> Also see: Oleg Dubovik's past Fast Breaking Paper, and New Hot Paper comments.



2008 : April 2008 : Oleg Dubovik