Direct Measurements of Brown Carbon Absorption in A Wide Range of Biomass Burning Plumes

Friday, 19 December 2014: 8:45 AM
Shane M Murphy1, Rudra P Pokhrel1, Eric Beamesderfer2, Daniel Lack3, Justin Langridge4 and Nicholas L Wagner5, (1)University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, United States, (2)University of Wyoming, Ephrata, PA, United States, (3)CIRES, Boulder, CO, United States, (4)Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom, (5)NOAA ESRL, Boulder, CO, United States
Biomass burning represents one of the largest global sources of absorbing aerosol. Despite the importance of biomass burning emissions on the Earth’s radiative balance, there remains significant uncertainty about the optical properties of emitted particles. Of particular interest is the impact of lensing on black carbon absorption and the impact of brown carbon. This presentation describes results from the Fire Lab at Missoula Experiment-4 (FLAME-4), which occurred in October 2012. Multi-channel photoacoustic (PAS) and Cavity Ringdown (CRDS) spectrometers were used to measure absorption, extinction, and absorption enhancement of aerosol particles produced from a wide range of globally relevant biomass fuels. Measurements were made at 405, 532, and 660 nm with duplicate channels at 405 and 660 measuring denuded particles, allowing for direct observation of the enhancement of absorption by black carbon particles caused by clear and brown organic coatings. Fuels were chosen based on their contribution to global wildfire emissions and a wide range of fuels will be discussed including some of the first optical measurements of Indonesian peat. The SSA and absorption angstrom exponent (AAE) of different biomass fuels will be explored and the relative importance of black and brown carbon emitted from different biomass fuels will be assessed, demonstrating that for certain fuels absorption from brown carbon is as important, or even more important than absorption from black carbon.