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A historic global ground-based monthly seasonal aerosol climatology based in AERONET data: a database 1993-2013

Cite this dataset

Giordano, Marco (2022). A historic global ground-based monthly seasonal aerosol climatology based in AERONET data: a database 1993-2013 [Dataset]. Dryad.


Necessary Reference Material:

[1] Giordano, M. E., On Interactions of Matter and Energy: Light and Particles in a Terrestrial Atmosphere Progress on Opto-Physical Recognition and Classification of Aerosols: A PhD dissertation, University of Nevada, copyright M.E. Giordano, 294 pages, December 2019. URI:

[2]  Giordano, M.E., Ward, C.S., and Hamill, P.: A Compendium of Aerosol Types Based on Mahalanobis Distances and AERONET data. [An internally hyperlinked compendium of seasonal aerosol and local aerosol compositions] Atmospheric Environment, 140, 213-233,2016.

[3]  Hamill, P. J., Giordano, M. E., Ward, C.S., Giles, D., Holben, B.: An AERONET - based aerosol classification using the Mahalanobis distance, Atmospheric Environment, Volume 140, September, pgs 213 -233, 2016. also at

[4]  Hamill, Patrick, Piedra, Patricio G., Giordano, Marco, E., 2020: Simulated Polarization as a Signature of Aerosol Type. Atmospheric Environment, Volume 224, 117348 article ATMENVD- 19-01763, 2020.



Building upon our previous endeavor, we make use of our Mahalanobis distance (MD) aerosol typological model and the resulting data base of global seasonal aerosol types [Giordano ibid]. An example of the results of which can be demonstrated as site specific historic aerosol composition, and seasonal aerosol climatology as presented below in Figure 1. This product is a tool for modelers and researchers to obtain the seasonal aerosol climatology and aerosol composition of every data qualifying AERONET site location.  A pair of sites is presented below as composite Figure 1 (which are Crete actual pg. 74 and Rome, actual page 176 of the original compendium). The site’s historical aerosol composition is rendered as a pie chart of aerosol types by relative percent of occurrence; the historical seasonal aerosol climatology is shown as a histogram of the number of times the aerosol is classified by each aerosol type each month throughout the historical year.

Figure 1: Aerosol Composition (pie) and Seasonal Climatology (bar) : Crete and Rome AERONET sites

Figure 1. Panel A) (left) This instrument is on the north side of the island of Crete, approximately 500 meters from the Sea of Crete. (south of the Aegean Sea). It is 12 km west of Heraklion, the main city of Crete, with a population of 180,000. The instrument is operated by Institute of Oceanography at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research sponsored by the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH). In the AERONET webpage this is listed as FORTH_CRETE. Panel B) (right) This instrument is located on a roof of the CNR institute near the University of Rome, Tor Vergata campus. This lies in the southern suburbs of Rome about 15 km from the city center, and 30 km inland from the Mediterranean. Rome has a metropolitan population of nearly 4 million. It is an important industrial, political and cultural center. This site is listed in the AERONET website as Rome_Tor_Vergata.

Applying simple statistical averaging, to the bar chart histograms of numbers of AERONET retrievals by aerosol type classified,  and determining the most frequent classified aerosol type at each AERONET site for each historic month, we declare the most frequently retrieved aerosol type to be equivalent to the Historic Monthly Dominant Aerosol Type. Applying the results of our global seasonal aerosol typology onto the global AERONET site list using an open-access GIS tool, results in map representations of any specific historic seasonal aerosol climatology by historic month. An example of how this is employed is presented below for historic January between 1996 and January 2013 as Figure 2.  The map color scheme is chosen to be as compatible with those presented in the compendium document [Giordano 2016].

Figure 2: The mapping of 5  BCA aerosol types - depicting global January distributions.  Similar maps were produced for each month from the data base.