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Impact of Black Carbon Aerosol Over Italian Basin Valleys: High Resolution Measurements Along Vertical Profiles, Radiative Forcing and Heating Rate : Volume 14, Issue 1 (09/01/2014)

By Ferrero, L.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003976263
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 51
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Impact of Black Carbon Aerosol Over Italian Basin Valleys: High Resolution Measurements Along Vertical Profiles, Radiative Forcing and Heating Rate : Volume 14, Issue 1 (09/01/2014)  
Author: Ferrero, L.
Volume: Vol. 14, Issue 1
Language: English
Subject: Science, Atmospheric, Chemistry
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Ferrini, B. S., Castelli, M., Sangiorgi, G., Moroni, B., Rovelli, G., Perrone, M. G.,...Mocnik, G. (2014). Impact of Black Carbon Aerosol Over Italian Basin Valleys: High Resolution Measurements Along Vertical Profiles, Radiative Forcing and Heating Rate : Volume 14, Issue 1 (09/01/2014). Retrieved from

Description: POLARIS Research Centre, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 1, 20126, Milan, Italy. This study presents the first measured high resolution vertical profiles of black carbon and calculation of aerosol radiative forcing and atmospheric heating rates in the lower troposphere, over Italy and Europe. The calculation is based on vertical profiles of black carbon, aerosol number size distribution and chemical composition measured over three Italian basin valleys (Po Valley, Terni Valley and Passiria Valley) by means of a tethered balloon equipped with a micro-Aethalometer, an optical particle counter (OPC), a cascade impactor and a meteorological station. Experimental measurements allowed first the calculation of the aerosol optical properties. In this respect, the aerosol refractive index was calculated along height using the effective medium approximation applied to aerosol chemical composition; Mie calculations were performed on the base of the OPC number-size distribution which was corrected for the ambient aerosol refractive index. The obtained vertical profiles of aerosol optical properties were validated with AERONET data and were used as input to the radiative transfer model libRadtran. Vertical profiles of direct aerosol radiative forcing, atmospheric absorption and heating rate were calculated.

Reported results evidenced common behaviours along height over the investigated basin valleys (an orographic feature present elsewhere in Europe): at the mixing height a marked a concentration drop of both BC (range: −48.4 ± 5.3% to −69.1 ± 5.5%) and particle number concentration (range: −23.9 ± 4.3% to −46.5 ± 7.3%) was evidenced. More in details, the percentage decrease of BC along height was higher than that measured for aerosol and thus, the BC content of the aerosol decreased along height; correspondingly the Single Scattering Albedo increased along height (range: +4.9 ± 2.2% to +7.4 ± 1.0%). Therefore, the highest atmospheric absorption was observed below the mixing height (range: +0.5 ± 0.1 W m−2 to +2.5 ± 0.2 W m−2) with the associated heating rate characterized by a vertical negative gradient (range: −0.5 K day−1 km−1 to −6.8 K day−1 km−1). As a result, the Black Carbon loaded below the mixing height potentially weakens the ground-based thermal inversions (common over basin valleys) thus promoting an increase of the atmospheric dispersal conditions.

Impact of black carbon aerosol over Italian basin valleys: high resolution measurements along vertical profiles, radiative forcing and heating rate

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