The effects of biomass burning aerosols and clouds on the CO2 flux in Amazonia


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Aerosol particles associated with biomass burning emissions affect the surface radiative budget and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) over large areas in Amazonia during the dry season. We analysed CO2 fluxes as a function of aerosol loading for two forest sites in Amazonia as part of the LBA experiment. Aerosol optical thickness (AOT) measurements were made with AERONET sun photometers, and CO2 flux measurements were determined by eddy-correlation.

The enhancement of the NEE varied with different aerosol loading, as well as cloud cover, solar elevation angles and other parameters. The AOT value with the strongest effect on the NEE in the FLONA-Tapajós site was 1.7, with an enhancement of the NEE of 11% compared with clear-sky conditions. In the RBJ site, the strongest effect was for AOT of 1.6 with an enhancement of 18% in the NEE. For values of AOT lager than 2.7, strong reduction on the NEE was observed due to the reduction in the total solar radiation. The enhancement in the NEE is attributed to the increase of diffuse versus direct solar radiation. Due to the fact that aerosols from biomass burning are present in most tropical areas, its effects on the global carbon budget could also be significant.