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Black carbon measurements in the boundary layer over western and northern Europe

McMeeking, G. R. and Hamburger, T. and Liu, D. and Flynn, M. and Morgan, W. T. and Northway, M. and Highwood, E. J. and Krejci, R. and Allan, J. D. and Minikin, A. and Coe, H. (2010) Black carbon measurements in the boundary layer over western and northern Europe. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, 10, pp. 13797-13853. DOI: 10.5194/acpd-10-13797-2010.

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Official URL: http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/10/13797/2010/acpd-10-13797-2010.pdf


Europe is a densely populated region that is a significant global source of black carbon (BC) aerosol, but there is a lack of information regarding the physical properties and spatial/vertical distribution of BC in the region. We present the first aircraft observations of sub-micron BC aerosol concentrations and physical properties measured by a single particle soot photometer (SP2) in the lower troposphere over Europe. The observations spanned a region roughly bounded by 50° to 60° N and from 15° W to 30° E. The measurements, made between April and September 2008, showed that average BC mass concentrations ranged from about 300 ng m−3 near urban areas to approximately 50 ng m−3 in remote continental regions, lower than previous surface-based measurements. BC represented between 0.5 and 3% of the sub-micron aerosol mass. Black carbon mass size distributions were log-normally distributed and peaked at approximately 180 nm, but shifted to smaller diameters (~160 nm) near source regions. Black carbon was correlated with carbon monoxide (CO) but had different ratios to CO depending on location and air mass. Light absorption coefficients were measured by particle soot absorption photometers on two separate aircraft and showed similar geographic patterns to BC mass measured by the SP2, but differed by at least a factor of two compared to each other. We summarize the BC and light absorption measurements as a function of longitude and air mass age and also provide profiles of BC mass concentrations and size distribution statistics. Our results will help evaluate model-predicted regional BC concentrations and properties and determine regional and global climate impacts from BC due to atmospheric heating and surface dimming.

Document Type:Article
Title:Black carbon measurements in the boundary layer over western and northern Europe
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
McMeeking, G. R.Univ. of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Hamburger, T.thomas.hamburger@dlr.de
Liu, D.Univ. of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Flynn, M.Univ. of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Morgan, W. T.Univ. of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Northway, M.Univ. of Reading, Reading, UK
Highwood, E. J.Univ. of Reading, Reading, UK
Krejci, R.Stockholm Univ., Stockholm, S
Allan, J. D.Univ. of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Minikin, A. andreas.minikin@dlr.de
Coe, H.Univ. of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Journal or Publication Title:Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
Refereed publication:No
In Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:No
Page Range:pp. 13797-13853
Keywords:black carbon, aerosol, boundary layer, Falcon, EUCAARI
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Atmosphären- und Klimaforschung (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Trace Species
Deposited By: Dr.rer.nat. Andreas Minikin
Deposited On:07 Jun 2010 09:46
Last Modified:27 Feb 2015 16:09

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