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Important fossil source contribution to brown carbon in Beijing during winter
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
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Number of Authors: 112017 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, article id 43182Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Organic aerosol (OA) constitutes a substantial fraction of fine particles and affects both human health and climate. It is becoming clear that OA absorbs light substantially (hence termed Brown Carbon, BrC), adding uncertainties to global aerosol radiative forcing estimations. The few current radiative-transfer and chemical-transport models that include BrC primarily consider sources from biogenic and biomass combustion. However, radiocarbon fingerprinting here clearly indicates that light-absorbing organic carbon in winter Beijing, the capital of China, is mainly due to fossil sources, which contribute the largest part to organic carbon (OC, 67 +/- 3%) and its sub-constituents (water-soluble OC, WSOC: 54 +/- 4%, and water-insoluble OC, WIOC: 73 +/- 3%). The dual-isotope (Delta C-14/delta C-13) signatures, organic molecular tracers and Beijing-tailored emission inventory identify that this fossil source is primarily from coal combustion activities in winter, especially from the residential sector. Source testing on Chinese residential coal combustion provides direct evidence that intensive coal combustion could contribute to increased light-absorptivity of ambient BrC in Beijing winter. Coal combustion is an important source to BrC in regions such as northern China, especially during the winter season. Future modeling of OA radiative forcing should consider the importance of both biomass and fossil sources.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 7, article id 43182
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141205DOI: 10.1038/srep43182ISI: 000395586600001PubMedID: 28266611OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-141205DiVA, id: diva2:1090741
Available from: 2017-04-25 Created: 2017-04-25 Last updated: 2017-04-25Bibliographically approved

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