Aerosol optical, microphysical, chemical and radiative properties of high aerosol load cases over the Arctic based on AERONET measurements.

Research paper by Yisong Y Xie, Zhengqiang Z Li, Li L Li, Richard R Wagener, Ihab I Abboud, Kaitao K Li, Donghui D Li, Ying Y Zhang, Xingfeng X Chen, Hua H Xu

Indexed on: 22 Jun '18Published on: 22 Jun '18Published in: Scientific Reports


Columnar mass concentrations of aerosol components over the Arctic are estimated using microphysical parameters derived from direct sun extinction and sky radiance measurements of Aerosol Robotic Network. Aerosol optical, microphysical, chemical and radiative properties show that Arctic aerosols are dominated by fine mode particles, especially for high aerosol load cases. The average aerosol optical depth (AOD) of the selected Arctic sites in the sampling period is approximately 0.08, with 75% composed of fine mode particles. The fine mode fraction mostly exceeds 0.9 when AOD greater than 0.4. The ammonium sulfate-like component (AS) contributes about 68% of total dry aerosol mass for high-AOD events. The estimated compositions and back trajectories show that the transported aerosol particles from biomass burning events have large amounts of black carbon (BC) and brown carbon, while those from pollution events are characterised by large AS fractions. The instantaneous radiative forcing at the top-of-atmosphere is higher for the more absorbing components, and varies greatly with surface albedo and solar zenith angle. A regression model of columnar composition and radiative forcing within the atmosphere (RF) for Arctic aerosol is established, showing that BC dominates a positive RF with a high warming efficiency.