Free tropospheric black carbon aerosol measurements using high altitude balloon: Do BC layers build “their own homes” up in the atmosphere?



[1] First ever in-situ measurements of black carbon (BC) aerosols in the troposphere (up to 9 km) made over central India and the resulting atmospheric impact as revealed by the environment lapse rate are presented. The altitude distribution of BC showed multiple peaks; two surprisingly large peaks, one at ∼4.5 km, and another above 8 km. Associated with these, rapid decrease in the environmental lapse rate and a sharp increase in the atmosphere stability were observed, probably caused by the atmospheric warming by the BC layers. This important observation calls for extensive high altitude profiling of BC to quantify the resultant warming, increase in stability and consequent increase in BC lifetime.