Rapid changes in biomass burning aerosols by atmospheric oxidation
Article first published online: 11 APR 2014
©2014. The Authors.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 41, Issue 7, pages 2644–2651, 16 April 2014
How to Cite
2014), Rapid changes in biomass burning aerosols by atmospheric oxidation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 2644–2651, doi:10.1002/2014GL059396., et al. (
- Issue published online: 28 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 11 APR 2014
- Accepted manuscript online: 22 MAR 2014 08:46AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 MAR 2014
- Manuscript Revised: 15 MAR 2014
- Manuscript Received: 23 JAN 2014
- Academy of Finland. Grant Number: 132640
- aerosols and particles;
- land/atmosphere interactions;
- atmospheric processes
Primary and secondary aerosol particles originating from biomass burning contribute significantly to the atmospheric aerosol budget and thereby to both direct and indirect radiative forcing. Based on detailed measurements of a large number of biomass burning plumes of variable age in southern Africa, we show that the size distribution, chemical composition, single-scattering albedo, and hygroscopicity of biomass burning particles change considerably during the first 2–4 h of their atmospheric transport. These changes, driven by atmospheric oxidation and subsequent secondary aerosol formation, may reach a factor of 6 for the aerosol scattering coefficient and a factor >10 for the cloud condensation nuclei concentration. Since the observed changes take place over the spatial and temporal scales that are neither covered by emission inventories nor captured by large-scale model simulations, the findings reported here point out a significant gap in our understanding on the climatic effects of biomass burning aerosols.