The SEVIRI instrument on board Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) offers new capabilities to monitor aerosol transport over the Atlantic and the Mediterranean at high temporal and spatial resolutions, in particular, Saharan dust from North Africa, biomass-burning aerosols from subtropical Africa and pollution from Europe. An inversion technique was developed to estimate both aerosol optical thickness and Angstrom coefficients from SEVIRI measurements at 0.63 and 0.81 mu m. This method relies on an optimized set of aerosol models to ensure a fast processing of full-resolution MSG images and to allow the processing of long time series. SEVIRI images for slots 45, 49 and 53 (11: 15, 12:15, 13:15 UT) were processed for June 2003. The retrieved optical thicknesses and Angstrom coefficients are in good agreement with AERONET in-situ measurements in the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean. Monthly mean maps of both parameters are compared to that obtained with the polar orbiting sensor POLDER for June 2003. There is a good consistency between the two monthly means in terms of optical thickness, but the Angstrom coefficients show significant differences in the Atlantic zone which is affected by dust transport. These differences may be explained by the lack of specific non-spherical dust models within the inversion. The preliminary results presented in this paper demonstrate, nevertheless, the potential of MSG/SEVIRI for the monitoring of aerosol optical properties at high frequencies over the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
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