The Variation in Atmospheric Turbidity over a Tropical Site in Nigeria and Its Relation to Climate Drivers



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Atmospheric turbidity exhibits substantial spatial–temporal variability due to factors such as aerosol emissions, seasonal changes, meteorology, and air mass transport. Investigating atmospheric turbidity is crucial for climatology, meteorology, and atmospheric pollution. This study investigates the variation in atmospheric turbidity over a tropical location in Nigeria, utilizing the Ångström exponent (α), the turbidity coefficient (β), the Linke turbidity factor (TL), the Ångström turbidity coefficient (βEST), the Unsworth–Monteith turbidity coefficient (KAUM), and the Schüepp turbidity coefficient (SCH). These parameters were estimated from a six-month uninterrupted aerosol optical depth dataset (January–June 2016) and a one-year dataset (January–December 2016) of solar radiation and meteorological data. An inverse correlation (R = −0.77) was obtained between α and β, which indicates different turbidity regimes based on particle size. TL and βEST exhibit pronounced seasonality, with higher turbidity during the dry season (TL = 9.62 and βEST = 0.60) compared to the rainy season (TL = 0.48 and βEST = 0.20) from May to October. Backward trajectories and wind patterns reveal that high-turbidity months align with north-easterly air flows from the Sahara Desert, transporting dust aerosols, while low-turbidity months coincide with humid maritime air masses originating from the Gulf of Guinea. Meteorological drivers like relative humidity and water vapor pressure are linked to turbidity levels, with an inverse exponential relationship observed between normalized turbidity coefficients and normalized water vapor pressure. This analysis provides insights into how air mass origin, wind patterns, and local climate factors impact atmospheric haze, particle characteristics, and solar attenuation variability in a tropical location across seasons. The findings can contribute to environmental studies and assist in modelling interactions between climate, weather, and atmospheric optical properties in the region.




Atmosphere 15 (3): 367 (2024)