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The Size Distribution and Mixing State of Black Carbon Aerosol Over Europe : Volume 12, Issue 10 (09/10/2012)

By Reddington, C. L.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003979480
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 58
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: The Size Distribution and Mixing State of Black Carbon Aerosol Over Europe : Volume 12, Issue 10 (09/10/2012)  
Author: Reddington, C. L.
Volume: Vol. 12, Issue 10
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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Coe, H., Liu, D., Mann, G. W., Mcmeeking, G., Flynn, M., Reddington, C. L.,...Spracklen, D. V. (2012). The Size Distribution and Mixing State of Black Carbon Aerosol Over Europe : Volume 12, Issue 10 (09/10/2012). Retrieved from

Description: Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK. Black carbon-containing aerosol particles play an important role in the direct and indirect radiative forcing of climate. However, the magnitude and sign of the net radiative effect is strongly dependent on the physical properties of the black carbon (BC) component of the particles, such as mass, number concentration and size distribution. Here we use a global aerosol model combined with aircraft measurements of BC particle number and size from the Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2) to assess the realism with which these physical properties are predicted by global models. The comparison reveals a substantial mismatch between the measured and modelled BC size distribution over the size range of the SP2 instrument (90–400 nm BC diameter). The model predicts BC particle number concentrations a factor ~3.5–5.7 higher than measured and a mode diameter that is 40–65 nm smaller than observed. More than 90% of the model particles in the SP2 size range contain BC, while the observations suggest only 21%. These model-observation biases in the BC properties are considerably greater than for the overall particle distribution, suggesting that the discrepancy is associated with model assumptions about the size and mixing state of the emitted carbonaceous particles. We expect the discrepancy in BC size distribution to be common among most global aerosol models, with implications for model estimates of absorption optical depth and direct radiative forcing.

The size distribution and mixing state of black carbon aerosol over Europe

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