Brown carbon spheres in East Asian outflow and their optical properties

Duncan T L Alexander, Peter Crozier, James R. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

251 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Atmospheric aerosols play a substantial role in climate change through radiative forcing. Combustion-produced carbonaceous particles are the main light-absorbing aerosols; thus, quantifying their optical properties is essential for determining the magnitude of direct forcing. By using the electron energy-loss spectrum in the transmission electron microscope, we quantified the optical properties of individual, submicrometer amorphous carbon spheres that are ubiquitous in East Asian-Pacific outflow. The data indicate that these common spheres are brown, not black, with a mean refractive index of 1.67 - 0.27i (where i = √1) at a wavelength of 550 nanometers. The results suggest that brown carbon aerosols should be explicitly included in radiative forcing models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)833-836
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume321
Issue number5890
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 8 2008

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Aerosols
Carbon
Electrons
Refractometry
Climate Change
Light

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Brown carbon spheres in East Asian outflow and their optical properties. / Alexander, Duncan T L; Crozier, Peter; Anderson, James R.

In: Science, Vol. 321, No. 5890, 08.08.2008, p. 833-836.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alexander, Duncan T L ; Crozier, Peter ; Anderson, James R. / Brown carbon spheres in East Asian outflow and their optical properties. In: Science. 2008 ; Vol. 321, No. 5890. pp. 833-836.
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