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A Model for the Spectral Dependence of Aerosol Sunlight Absorption
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Number of Authors: 12017 (English)In: Acs Earth and Space Chemistry, ISSN 2472-3452, Vol. 1, no 9, p. 533-539Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sunlight-absorbing aerosols, e.g., black and brown carbon (BC and BrC), have a potentially large, but highly uncertain contribution to climate warming. The spectral dependence of the aerosol absorption in the visible and near-UV regime is almost universally well-described with a heuristic power law, where the exponent is termed the absorption Angstrom exponent. However, the 2 underlying physicochemical causes for this relation are unknown. Here, a model is presented that predicts the emergence of the power law spectral dependence and unifies the absorption behavior of BC and BrC. Building on the theory of light absorption in amorphous materials, the interaction between multiple functional groups upon absorption is predicted to be a key feature for this broad spectral dependence. This aerosol amorphous absorption model is in agreement with recent empirical findings and provides a conceptual basis for the additional research needed to better constrain the optical properties of light-absorbing aerosols and their environmental impact.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 1, no 9, p. 533-539
Keywords [en]
black carbon (BC), brown carbon (BrC), absorption Angstrom exponent (AAE), aerosol absorption optical depth (AAOD), soot, power law, climate change, Humic-like substances (HULLS)
National Category
Chemical Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-149999DOI: 10.1021/acsearthspacechem.7b00066ISI: 000416291100001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-149999DiVA, id: diva2:1168594
Available from: 2017-12-21 Created: 2017-12-21 Last updated: 2017-12-21Bibliographically approved

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