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Introduction

There is increasing interest in the role of airborne mineral dust in atmospheric processes. Of particular interest is the interaction of solar radiation with atmospheric dust because of the possible impact on climate through the scattering and absorption of radiation, as well as the modification of cloud properties. Over the ocean, these processes also affect the ability to use remote sensing techniques to retrieve various ocean properties such as sea surface temperature and ocean color.

The tropical North Atlantic is an excellent location to study these processes because of the very high concentrations of African dust that cover large areas of this region during much of the year. Of particular interest are the temporal and spatial variability of dust with respect to meteorological parameters, the chemical and physical properties of dust that relate to radiative processes, and finally, the impact of dust on clouds.

The Puerto Rico Dust Experiment (PRIDE) was held from June 27th to July 24th 2000 and was based in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. PRIDE was a study of the radiative, microphysical, and transport properties of African dust. The investigation, led by the U.S. Navy, included scientists from NASA and various Universities who combined surface, airborne, and satellite measurements with modeling efforts. These additional participants included NASA GSFC 913/923, NASA/Ames, JPL, U.Alabama-Huntsville, U.C.Davis, U.Miami, U.PuertoRico, DoD/NPS, ONR, and SPAWAR. For the MODIS Atmosphere Aerosol Team, PRIDE was the first opportunity to validate the MODIS aerosol retrieval algorithms and products.


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