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Natural aerosol direct and indirect radiative effects

Rap, A., Scott, C. E., Spracklen, D. V., Bellouin, N. ORCID:, Forster, P. M., Carslaw, K. S., Schmidt, A. and Mann, G. (2013) Natural aerosol direct and indirect radiative effects. Geophysical Research Letters, 40 (12). pp. 3297-3301. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/grl.50441


Natural aerosol plays a significant role in the Earth’s system due to its ability to alter the radiative balance of the Earth. Here we use a global aerosol microphysics model together with a radiative transfer model to estimate radiative effects for five natural aerosol sources in the present-day atmosphere: dimethyl sulfide (DMS), sea-salt, volcanoes, monoterpenes, and wildfires. We calculate large annual global mean aerosol direct and cloud albedo effects especially for DMS-derived sulfate (–0.23 Wm–2 and –0.76 Wm–2, respectively), volcanic sulfate (–0.21 Wm–2 and –0.61 Wm–2) and sea-salt (–0.44 Wm–2 and –0.04 Wm–2). The cloud albedo effect responds nonlinearly to changes in emission source strengths. The natural sources have both markedly different radiative efficiencies and indirect/direct radiative effect ratios. Aerosol sources that contribute a large number of small particles (DMS-derived and volcanic sulfate) are highly effective at influencing cloud albedo per unit of aerosol mass burden.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:34628
Publisher:American Geophysical Union


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