Black Carbon Vertical Profiles Strongly Affect its Radiative Forcing Uncertainty

TitleBlack Carbon Vertical Profiles Strongly Affect its Radiative Forcing Uncertainty
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
Pages28929-28953
Date Published02/2013
Abstract / Summary

The impact of black carbon (BC) aerosols on the global radiation balance is not well constrained. Here twelve global aerosol models are used to show that at least 20% of the present uncertainty in modeled BC direct radiative forcing (RF) is due to diversity in the simulated vertical profile of BC mass. Results are from phases 1 and 2 of the global aerosol model intercomparison project (AeroCom). Additionally, a significant fraction of the variability is shown to come from high altitudes, as, globally, more than 40% of the total BC RF is exerted above 5km. BC emission regions and areas with transported BC are found to have differing characteristics. These insights into the importance of the vertical profile of BC lead us to suggest that observational studies are needed to better characterize the global distribution of BC, including in the upper troposphere.

URLhttp://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/12/28929/2012/acpd-12-28929-2012.html
DOI10.5194/acpd-12-28929-2012
Journal: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
Year of Publication: 2013
Pages: 28929-28953
Date Published: 02/2013

The impact of black carbon (BC) aerosols on the global radiation balance is not well constrained. Here twelve global aerosol models are used to show that at least 20% of the present uncertainty in modeled BC direct radiative forcing (RF) is due to diversity in the simulated vertical profile of BC mass. Results are from phases 1 and 2 of the global aerosol model intercomparison project (AeroCom). Additionally, a significant fraction of the variability is shown to come from high altitudes, as, globally, more than 40% of the total BC RF is exerted above 5km. BC emission regions and areas with transported BC are found to have differing characteristics. These insights into the importance of the vertical profile of BC lead us to suggest that observational studies are needed to better characterize the global distribution of BC, including in the upper troposphere.

DOI: 10.5194/acpd-12-28929-2012
Citation:
Samset, BH, G Myhre, M Schulz, Y Balkanski, S Bauer, TK Bernsten, H Bian, et al.  2013.  "Black Carbon Vertical Profiles Strongly Affect its Radiative Forcing Uncertainty."  Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions 28929-28953.  https://doi.org/10.5194/acpd-12-28929-2012.