Brown Carbon in the Cryosphere: Current Knowledge and Perspective (2016)

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Recently, the light-absorbing organic carbon, i.e., brown carbon (BrC), has received an increasing attention, because they could significantly absorb the solar radiation in the range of short wavelengths rather than the purely scattering effect. BrC is ubiquitous in the troposphere. It could undergo long range transport within the atmospheric circulation. After the deposition on the surface of snow or ice in the cryospheric region, as the major light absorbing impurities with black carbon and dust, BrC could reduce the snow albedo and accelerate the glacier melting. In this context, this paper summarized the current knowledge of BrC (in aerosols and snow) in the cryospheric regions including the Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpines. Although some works have been conducted in those region, the current dataset on the optical properties of BrC like Absorption Ångström Exponent (AAE) and Mass Absorption Efficiency (MAE) is still limited, which hampers stimulating an accurate evaluation of its climate effects. Especially in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau, where very limited information concerning BrC is available. Considering biomass burning as a dominant source of BrC, a large amount of emissions from biomass burning in South Asia could reach the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau, where the climate effect of BrC merits more investigation in the future.
Year: 2016
Language: English
In: Advances in Climate Change Research, 7 (1–2): 82-89 p.

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 Record created 2016-09-05, last modified 2016-09-05