Sources and light absorption of water-soluble brown carbon aerosols in the outflow from northern China
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
High loadings of anthropogenic carbonaceous aerosols in Chinese air influence the air quality for over 1 billion people and impact the regional climate. A large fraction (17 – 80%) of this aerosol carbon is water soluble, promoting cloud formation and thus climate cooling. Recent findings, however, suggest that water-soluble carbonaceous aerosols also absorb sunlight, bringing additional direct and indirect climate warming effects, yet the extent and nature of light absorption by this water-soluble brown carbon (WS-BrC) and its relation to sources is poorly understood. Here, we combine source estimates constrained by dual-carbon-isotope with light absorption measurements of WS-BrC for a March 2011 campaign at the Korea Climate Observatory at Gosan (KCOG), a receptor station in SE Yellow Sea for the outflow from N. China. The mass absorption cross-section (MAC) of WS-BrC for air masses from N. China were in general higher (0.8 – 1.1 m2/g), than from other source regions (0.3 – 0.8 m2/g). We estimate that this effect corresponds to 13 – 49% of the radiative forcing caused by light absorption by black carbon. Radiocarbon constraints show that the WS-Br in Chinese outflow had significantly higher amounts of fossil sources (30 – 50%) compared to previous findings in S. Asia, N. America and Europe. Stable carbon (δ13C) measurements indicated influence of aging during air mass transport. These results indicate the importance of incorporating WS-BrC in climate models and the need to constrain climate effects by emission source sector.
water-soluble organic carbon, carbon isotopes, source apportionment, light absorption properties, aerosol aging, China
Research subject Applied Environmental Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89189OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-89189DiVA: diva2:616312