National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2007

Spectral absorption properties of atmospheric aerosols

Bergstrom, R.W., P. Pilewskie, P.B. Russell, J. Redemann, T.C. Bond, P.K. Quinn, and B. Sierau

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 5937-5943, doi: 10.5194/acp-7-5937-2007 (2007)

We have determined the solar spectral absorption optical depth of atmospheric aerosols for specific case studies during several field programs (three cases have been reported previously; two are new results). We combined airborne measurements of 5 the solar net radiant flux density and the aerosol optical depth with a detailed radiative transfer model for all but one of the cases. The field programs (SAFARI 2000, ACE Asia, PRIDE, TARFOX, INTEX-A) contained aerosols representing the major absorbing aerosol types: pollution, biomass burning, desert dust and mixtures. In all cases the spectral absorption optical depth decreases with wavelength and can be approx10 imated with a power-law wavelength dependence (Absorption Angstrom Exponent or AAE). We compare our results with other recent spectral absorption measurements and discuss the limitations in using the AAE for calculating the solar absorption. We also discuss the resulting spectral single scattering albedo for these cases.

Feature Publications | Outstanding Scientific Publications

Contact Sandra Bigley |