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Aerosols and climate Rob Wood, Atmospheric Sciences.

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1 Aerosols and climate Rob Wood, Atmospheric Sciences

2 What are aerosols? Solid or liquid particles suspended in air Sizes range from a few nm to a few thousand nm  Huge range of masses

3 Where do aerosols come from?

4 Present flux SourceLowHighBest Natural Primary Soil dust (mineral aerosol) 1,0003,0001,500 Sea salt1,00010,0001,300 Volcanic dust410,00033 Biological debris268050 Secondary Sulfates from biogenic gases 6011090 Sulfates from volcanic SO 2 44512 Organic matter from biogenic NMHC * 1020055 Nitrates from NO x 104022 Present flux SourceLowHighBest Anthropogenic Primary Industrial dust etc.40130100 Black carbon (soot and charcoal) 103020 Secondary Sulphates from SO 2 120180140 Biomass burning (w/o black carbon) 5014080 Nitrates from NO x 205036 Organics from anthropogenic NMHC * 52510 Estimate of Present-Day Global Emission of Major Aerosol Types (in Tg/year)

5 1 10 100 10 3 10 4 10 5 10 6 [nm]

6 Aerosols and light scattering Scattering of solar radiation per unit mass is maximum when particle size is close to solar wavelengths ( ~ 400- 800 nm) Particles in the size range 200-2000 nm are most efficient scatterers Particle surface area more important than mass 10 100 1000 10000 Particle diameter [nm] Scattering efficiency per mass

7 Surface area and mass M = (4  /3)  r 3 A = 4  r 2 A/M  1/r when r « scattering efficiency increases with r 4  r<100 nm particles don’t matter 10 100 1000 10000 Particle diameter [nm] Scattering efficiency per mass

8 Aerosols and light scattering If aerosol particle is soluble then size will depend upon water uptake Water uptake depends upon relative humidity (RH) For given number of particles, scattering will increase with RH But with no particles there is no scattering despite what the RH is

9 Size as a function of RH

10 Chemical composition affects growth RH growth factor r/r dry 321321 marine airmass polluted airmass

11 What determines scattering? For particles of size > 200 nm, surface area determines scattering from one particle Multiply this by the number concentration of particles to get overall scattering per unit volume of air A tot  N r 2, M tot  N r 3  A tot  N 1/3 M 2/3 Need to know both total aerosol mass and the number concentration

12 Importance of sulfate Sulfate aerosols dominate the scattering over continental regions Anthropogenic sources comparable to natural sources Regionally, this scattering can seriously degrade visibility Globally, this scattering reduces solar radiation entering the climate system by  2 W m -2 Studies suggest that about 0.3-0.8 W m -2 of this scattering are from anthropogenic aerosols, mostly sulfate (“direct” effect of aerosols)

13 Beijing after rain Beijing during dry period

14 Solar radiation reaching the surface

15 Global Sulfur Budget Phytoplankton (CH 3 ) 2 S SO 2  1.3d (DMS)  1.0d OHNO 3 Volcanoes Combustion/ Smelters SO4 2-  3.9d 22 10 64 OH cloud 42 818 4 dep 27 dry 20 wet dep 6 dry 44 wet H 2 SO 4 (g) Rates in Tg S yr -1

16 Global Sulfur Emission Patterns Chin et al. [2000]

17 SO 2 sources by type

18 Direct effect of aerosols upon solar radiation Aerosols scatter solar radiation More particles  more scattering Some scattered radiation returns to space Reduction in amount entering climate system  Cooling effect

19 Aerosol optical depth (measure of scattering)

20 How well do we understand human influence? Direct radiative forcing (effect of anthropogenic emissions on aerosol scattering) from different models

21 Trends in U.S. NO x AND SO 2 Emissions

22 Aerosol-cloud-climate interactions

23 More aerosol-Climate effects

24 Cloud droplets form on aerosol particles For soluble aerosols, particle size increases with RH When a parcel of air rises, it cools and the RH increases When RH>1, the soluble aerosols can “activate” (grow unstably into much larger cloud droplets) The RH at which an aerosol activates is strongly dependent upon its size Larger aerosols activate first and can consume vapor, preventing the smaller ones from activating The number of cloud droplets is strongly controlled by the number of soluble aerosols

25 What determines N in warm clouds? Aerosol concentration (r>0.1 micron) [cm -3 ] Cloud droplet concentration [cm -3 ]

26 Link between number of cloud droplets and cloud albedo Similar arguments as for light scattering due to aerosols For given amount of liquid water, increased N gives smaller average size of droplets Smaller droplets have larger surface area More reflective cloud, more albedo


28 Most well- understood aerosol-cloud- climate effects (indirect effects)

29 Global Sulfur Emission Patterns Chin et al. [2000]

30 MODIS, data courtesy of NASA

31 IPCC, 2007

32 Putting it all together

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