Calculations of solar shortwave heating rates due to black carbon and ozone...

Gao, R., S. R. Hall, W. H. Swartz, J. Schwarz, R. Spackman, L. Watts, D. Fahey, K. Aikin, R. E. Shetter, and T. P. Bui (2008), Calculations of solar shortwave heating rates due to black carbon and ozone absorption using in situ measurements, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D14203, doi:10.1029/2007JD009358.

Results for the solar heating rates in ambient air due to absorption by black-carbon (BC) containing particles and ozone are presented as calculated from airborne observations made in the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) in January–February 2006. The method uses airborne in situ observations of BC particles, ozone and actinic flux. Total BC mass is obtained along the flight track by summing the masses of individually detected BC particles in the range 90 to 600-nm volume-equivalent diameter, which includes most of the BC mass. Ozone mixing ratios and upwelling and partial downwelling solar actinic fluxes were measured concurrently with BC mass. Two estimates used for the BC wavelength-dependent absorption cross section yielded similar heating rates. For mean altitudes of 16.5, 17.5, and 18.5 km (±0.5 km) in the tropics, average BC heating rates were near 0.0002 K d-1. Observed BC coatings on individual particles approximately double derived BC heating rates. Ozone heating rates exceeded BC heating rates by approximately a factor of 100 on average and at least a factor of 4, suggesting that BC heating rates in this region are negligible in comparison.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)
Upper Atmosphere Research Program (UARP)