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Five aerosol and solar flux monitoring sites were established in Brazil for the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA) project. The first two sites were developed in the states of Rondonia and Mato Grosso in January 1999, while the others were initiated in September 1999 in Amazonas, Para, and near Brasilia (later relocated to Acre). Daily insolation [photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and total solar] for 1999 and 9 months of 2000 was determined from flux measurements, and the daily fraction of theoretical cloud-free, background-aerosol insolation, f(B(day)), was evaluated for each site. Observed daily shortfall (MJ m(-2) d(-1)) of PAR insolation due to clouds and aerosols (relative to modeled values for background aerosol), and the instantaneous reductions of PAR irradiance due to high aerosol optical thickness (AOT) smoke events are presented for 1999 at Alta Floresta. The ratio of PAR flux to total solar flux (PAR fraction) was examined for all atmospheric conditions during 1999, and the observed dependence of this parameter on column water vapor and smoke AOT was quantified. No significant relationship with cloud amount (as quantified) was found. Instantaneous PAR irradiance measurements and concurrent, cloud-cleared aerosol data from collocated CIMEL sunphotometers were used with a radiative transfer model to investigate the optical properties of smoke aerosols during the burning season. In particular, the single scattering albedo (SSA) was evaluated in the PAR spectral range for AOT(440 nm) values ranging from 0.8 to 3.0. These estimates were compared with the operational retrievals of the same parameter from algorithms developed by AERONET for CIMEL sunphotometer radiance measurements

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