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Title: Enhanced light absorption by mixed source black and brown carbon particles in UK winter

Abstract

We report that black carbon (BC) and light-absorbing organic carbon (brown carbon, BrC) play key roles in warming the atmosphere, but the magnitude of their effects remains highly uncertain. Theoretical modelling and laboratory experiments demonstrate that coatings on BC can enhance BC’s light absorption, therefore many climate models simply assume enhanced BC absorption by a factor of ~1.5. However, recent field observations show negligible absorption enhancement, implying models may overestimate BC’s warming. Here we report direct evidence of substantial field-measured BC absorption enhancement, with the magnitude strongly depending on BC coating amount. Increases in BC coating result from a combination of changing sources and photochemical aging processes. When the influence of BrC is accounted for, observationally constrained model calculations of the BC absorption enhancement can be reconciled with the observations. In conclusion, we find that the influence of coatings on BC absorption should be treated as a source and regionally specific parameter in climate models.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [2];  [4];  [5];  [5];  [5];  [5];  [6];  [5];  [7];  [5];  [5];  [8];  [8]; ORCiD logo [8];  [9];  [9];  [10] more »;  [10];  [11];  [12]; ORCiD logo [13];  [14];  [15];  [16] « less
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Earth and Environmental Sciences Division; Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Cooperative Inst. for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Earth and Environmental Sciences Division
  3. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Earth and Environmental Sciences Division; Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA (United States)
  4. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
  5. Aerodyne Research, Inc. Billerica, MA (United States)
  6. Aerodyne Research, Inc. Billerica, MA (United States); Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (United States)
  7. Aerodyne Research, Inc. Billerica, MA (United States); Boston College, Boston, MA (United States)
  8. Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI (United States)
  9. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
  10. Univ. of Manchester (United Kingdom)
  11. Univ. of York (United Kingdom)
  12. Univ. of Leicester (United Kingdom)
  13. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States); Karlsruhe Inst. of Technology (KIT) (Germany)
  14. Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland); Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Switzerland)
  15. Univ. of Bern, Bern (Switzerland)
  16. Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1252985
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0008937; SC0010019; SC0006002
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Liu, Shang, Aiken, Allison C., Gorkowski, Kyle, Dubey, Manvendra K., Cappa, Christopher D., Williams, Leah R., Herndon, Scott C., Massoli, Paola, Fortner, Edward C., Chhabra, Puneet S., Brooks, William A., Onasch, Timothy B., Jayne, John T., Worsnop, Douglas R., China, Swarup, Sharma, Noopur, Mazzoleni, Claudio, Xu, Lu, Ng, Nga L., Liu, Dantong, Allan, James D., Lee, James D., Fleming, Zoë L., Mohr, Claudia, Zotter, Peter, Szidat, Sönke, and Prévôt, André S. H. Enhanced light absorption by mixed source black and brown carbon particles in UK winter. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1038/ncomms9435.
Liu, Shang, Aiken, Allison C., Gorkowski, Kyle, Dubey, Manvendra K., Cappa, Christopher D., Williams, Leah R., Herndon, Scott C., Massoli, Paola, Fortner, Edward C., Chhabra, Puneet S., Brooks, William A., Onasch, Timothy B., Jayne, John T., Worsnop, Douglas R., China, Swarup, Sharma, Noopur, Mazzoleni, Claudio, Xu, Lu, Ng, Nga L., Liu, Dantong, Allan, James D., Lee, James D., Fleming, Zoë L., Mohr, Claudia, Zotter, Peter, Szidat, Sönke, & Prévôt, André S. H. Enhanced light absorption by mixed source black and brown carbon particles in UK winter. United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms9435
Liu, Shang, Aiken, Allison C., Gorkowski, Kyle, Dubey, Manvendra K., Cappa, Christopher D., Williams, Leah R., Herndon, Scott C., Massoli, Paola, Fortner, Edward C., Chhabra, Puneet S., Brooks, William A., Onasch, Timothy B., Jayne, John T., Worsnop, Douglas R., China, Swarup, Sharma, Noopur, Mazzoleni, Claudio, Xu, Lu, Ng, Nga L., Liu, Dantong, Allan, James D., Lee, James D., Fleming, Zoë L., Mohr, Claudia, Zotter, Peter, Szidat, Sönke, and Prévôt, André S. H. Wed . "Enhanced light absorption by mixed source black and brown carbon particles in UK winter". United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms9435. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1252985.
@article{osti_1252985,
title = {Enhanced light absorption by mixed source black and brown carbon particles in UK winter},
author = {Liu, Shang and Aiken, Allison C. and Gorkowski, Kyle and Dubey, Manvendra K. and Cappa, Christopher D. and Williams, Leah R. and Herndon, Scott C. and Massoli, Paola and Fortner, Edward C. and Chhabra, Puneet S. and Brooks, William A. and Onasch, Timothy B. and Jayne, John T. and Worsnop, Douglas R. and China, Swarup and Sharma, Noopur and Mazzoleni, Claudio and Xu, Lu and Ng, Nga L. and Liu, Dantong and Allan, James D. and Lee, James D. and Fleming, Zoë L. and Mohr, Claudia and Zotter, Peter and Szidat, Sönke and Prévôt, André S. H.},
abstractNote = {We report that black carbon (BC) and light-absorbing organic carbon (brown carbon, BrC) play key roles in warming the atmosphere, but the magnitude of their effects remains highly uncertain. Theoretical modelling and laboratory experiments demonstrate that coatings on BC can enhance BC’s light absorption, therefore many climate models simply assume enhanced BC absorption by a factor of ~1.5. However, recent field observations show negligible absorption enhancement, implying models may overestimate BC’s warming. Here we report direct evidence of substantial field-measured BC absorption enhancement, with the magnitude strongly depending on BC coating amount. Increases in BC coating result from a combination of changing sources and photochemical aging processes. When the influence of BrC is accounted for, observationally constrained model calculations of the BC absorption enhancement can be reconciled with the observations. In conclusion, we find that the influence of coatings on BC absorption should be treated as a source and regionally specific parameter in climate models.},
doi = {10.1038/ncomms9435},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = ,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {9}
}

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