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Absorption Enhancement of Black Carbon Aerosols Constrained by Mixing-State Heterogeneity

Zhai, Jinghao and Yang, Xin and Li, Ling and Bai, Bin and Liu, Pengfei and Huang, Yuanlong and Fu, Tzung-May and Zhu, Lei and Zeng, Zhenzhong and Tao, Shu and Lu, Xiaohui and Ye, Xingnan and Wang, Xiaofei and Wang, Lin and Chen, Jianmin (2022) Absorption Enhancement of Black Carbon Aerosols Constrained by Mixing-State Heterogeneity. Environmental Science and Technology, 56 (3). pp. 1586-1593. ISSN 0013-936X. doi:10.1021/acs.est.1c06180.

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Atmospheric black carbon (BC) has a large yet highly uncertain contribution to global warming. When mixed with non-BC/coating material during atmospheric aging, the BC light absorption can be enhanced through the lensing effect. Laboratory and modeling studies have consistently found strong BC absorption enhancement, while the results in ambient measurements are conflicting, with some reporting weak absorption enhancement even for particles with large bulk coating amounts. Here, from our direct field observations, we report both large and minor absorption enhancement factors for different BC-containing particle populations with large bulk non-BC-to-BC mass ratios. By gaining insights into the measured coating material distribution across each particle population, we find that the level of absorption enhancement is strongly dependent on the particle-resolved mixing state. Our study shows that the greater mixing-state heterogeneity results in the larger difference between observed and predicted absorption enhancement. We demonstrate that by considering the variability in coating material thickness in the optical model, the previously observed model measurement discrepancy of absorption enhancement can be reconciled. The observations and improved optical models reported here highlight the importance of mixing-state heterogeneity on BC’s radiative forcing, which should be better resolved in large-scale models to increase confidence when estimating the aerosol radiation effect.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Zhai, Jinghao0000-0001-9538-2299
Yang, Xin0000-0002-9173-1188
Liu, Pengfei0000-0002-6714-7387
Huang, Yuanlong0000-0002-6726-8904
Fu, Tzung-May0000-0002-8556-7326
Tao, Shu0000-0002-7374-7063
Wang, Lin0000-0002-4905-3432
Chen, Jianmin0000-0001-5859-3070
Additional Information:© 2022 American Chemical Society. Received: September 13, 2021; Revised: December 16, 2021; Accepted: January 7, 2022; Published: January 18, 2022. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41827804, 41775150, and 91544224) and Guangdong Provincial Research and Development Plan in Key Area (2020B1111360001) and Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Centre. The authors declare no competing financial interest.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Natural Science Foundation of China41827804
National Natural Science Foundation of China41775150
National Natural Science Foundation of China91544224
Guangdong Province2020B1111360001
Shanghai Environmental Monitoring CentreUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:black carbon; mixing state; absorption enhancement; radiative forcing; climate change
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220119-817725000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Absorption Enhancement of Black Carbon Aerosols Constrained by Mixing-State Heterogeneity. Jinghao Zhai, Xin Yang, Ling Li, Bin Bai, Pengfei Liu, Yuanlong Huang, Tzung-May Fu, Lei Zhu, Zhenzhong Zeng, Shu Tao, Xiaohui Lu, Xingnan Ye, Xiaofei Wang, Lin Wang, and Jianmin Chen. Environmental Science & Technology 2022 56 (3), 1586-1593; DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.1c06180
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:113001
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:20 Jan 2022 16:41
Last Modified:03 Feb 2022 23:42

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