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Science. 2008 Aug 8;321(5890):833-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1155296.

Brown carbon spheres in East Asian outflow and their optical properties.

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1
LeRoy Eyring Center for Solid State Science, Arizona State University, Post Office Box 871704, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA.

Abstract

Atmospheric aerosols play a substantial role in climate change through radiative forcing. Combustion-produced carbonaceous particles are the main light-absorbing aerosols; thus, quantifying their optical properties is essential for determining the magnitude of direct forcing. By using the electron energy-loss spectrum in the transmission electron microscope, we quantified the optical properties of individual, submicrometer amorphous carbon spheres that are ubiquitous in East Asian-Pacific outflow. The data indicate that these common spheres are brown, not black, with a mean refractive index of 1.67 - 0.27i (where i = square root 1) at a wavelength of 550 nanometers. The results suggest that brown carbon aerosols should be explicitly included in radiative forcing models.

PMID:
18687964
DOI:
10.1126/science.1155296
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