Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Astronomy, no. 67, p. 57-64 (2023)


Vassyl DANYLEVSKY, Ph.D (Phys. & Math.), Senior Researcher
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine

Alona MOZGOVA, Ph.D (Phys. & Math.)
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine


The Earth’s atmosphere is one of the key elements of the solar-terrestrial relations influencing on redistribution the solar shortwave radiation and creating effect known as an greenhouse effect. This paper makes relevant the aerosol study in the Earth’s stratosphere and highlights the main problems of quantitative determination of the climate effects of aerosols. The stratosphere is an important part of the Earth’s atmosphere that has a significant influence on the Earth’s climate as a planet. Stratospheric aerosol particles may also have an important role in climate formation despite their low concentration compared to the tropospheric aerosol. The problems associated with the climate change in the modern epoch encourage the search of possible mechanisms of engineering influence on the atmosphere environment, in particular by artificially increasing the aerosols content in the stratosphere. Therefore, the continuous monitoring of the aerosol layer properties, in particular in the stratosphere, is the relevant field of scientific researches. The article provides an overview of aerosol particles remote sensing in the stratosphere from both the Earth’s surface and near-Earth orbit, emphasizes the importance of determining the optical properties of the stratospheric aerosols, in particular the extinction coefficient and optical depth as well as determining the size distribution of aerosol particles and the complex refractive index. The paper provides an overview of works which present the values of these parameters obtained by various methods and from different places on the Earth’s surface. The considered observational data is mostly spatially averaged over a long time period. Despite the still insufficient accuracy of modern instruments for aerosol studying in the stratosphere, their results show that the aerosol particles content in the stratosphere varies significantly and mainly depends on volcanic activity. The article presents the analysis of the already known data on the optical parameters of the aerosol, in particular its optical depth that can be in the order of values 0.001–0.01 at the height range from the troposphere to about 30 km in the short-wavelength part of the optical spectrum even after volcanic eruptions. Only very powerful eruptions, for example, El Chichon or Pinatubo volcanoes, can increase this value to 0.1–0.3, but such eruptions are rare with intervals of many years. The paper notes the importance of increasing the accuracy of measurements and improving methods of inverse problem solving for estimating the climate effects of stratospheric aerosols. The generalized values of the optical depth for different spectrum parts and other aerosol parameters in the stratosphere, given in the article, determine the requirements for the design and parameters of instruments to improve the efficiency of these researches.

Key words
Stratosphere, aerosol particles, extinction, aerosol optical depth, remote sensing, volcanic eruptions.


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