Long-term series and trends in surface solar radiation in Athens, Greece

Kazadzis, S. ; Founda, D. ; Psiloglou, B. E. ; Kambezidis, H. ; Mihalopoulos, N. ; Sanchez-Lorenzo, A. ; Meleti, C. ; Raptis, P. I. ; Pierros, F. ; Nabat, Pierre

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We present a long-term series of surface solar radiation (SSR) from the city of Athens, Greece. SSR measurements were performed from 1954 to 2012, and before that (1900-1953) sunshine duration (SD) records were used in order to reconstruct monthly SSR. Analysis of the whole data set (1900-2012) mainly showed very small (0.02 %) changes in SSR from 1900 to 1953, including a maximum decrease of −2.9 % decade−1 in SSR during the 1910 to 1940 period, assuming a linear change. For the dimming period 1955-1980, −2 % decade−1 was observed that matches various European long-term SSR-measurement-related studies. This percentage in Athens is in the lower limit, compared to other studies in the Mediterranean area. For the brightening period 1980-2012 we calculated +1.5 % decade−1, which is also in the lower limit of the reported positive changes in SSR around Europe. Comparing the 30-year periods 1954-1983 and 1983-2012, we found a difference of 4.5 %. However, measurements of the first 30-year period are associated with higher uncertainties than those of the second period, especially when looking at year-to-year changes. The difference between the two periods was observed for all seasons except winter. Analyzing SSR calculations of all-sky and clear-sky (cloudless) conditions/days, we report that most of the observed changes in SSR after 1954 can be attributed partly to cloudiness and mostly to aerosol load changes.
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