Radiative Effect and Climate Impacts of Brown Carbon with the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM5)

Hunter Brown, Xiaohong Liu, Yan Feng, Yiquan Jiang, Mingxuan Wu, Zheng Lu, Chenglai Wu, Shane Murphy, Rudra Pokhrel
2018 Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions  
<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> A recent development in the representation of aerosols in climate models is the realization that some components of organic aerosol (OA), emitted from biomass and biofuel burning, can have a significant contribution to short-wave radiation absorption in the atmosphere. The absorbing fraction of OA is referred to as brown carbon (BrC). This study introduces one of the first implementations of BrC into the Community Atmosphere Model version 5 (CAM5), using a
more » ... ), using a parameterization for BrC absorptivity described in Saleh et al. (2014). 9-year experiments are run (2003&amp;ndash;2011) with prescribed emissions and sea surface temperatures to analyze the effect of BrC in the atmosphere. Model validation is conducted via model comparison to single-scatter albedo and aerosol optical depth from the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET). This comparison reveals a model underestimation of SSA in biomass burning regions for both default and BrC model runs, while a comparison between AERONET and model absorption Angstrom exponent shows a marked improvement with BrC implementation. Global annual average radiative effects are calculated due to aerosol-radiation interactions (REari; 0.13<span class="thinspace"></span>±<span class="thinspace"></span>0.01<span class="thinspace"></span>W<span class="thinspace"></span>m<sup>&amp;minus;2</sup>) and aerosol-cloud interactions (REaci; 0.01<span class="thinspace"></span>±<span class="thinspace"></span>0.04<span class="thinspace"></span>W<span class="thinspace"></span>m<sup>&amp;minus;2</sup>). REari is similar to other studies' estimations of BrC direct radiative effect, while REaci indicates a global reduction in low clouds due to the BrC semi-direct effect. The mechanisms for these physical changes are investigated and found to correspond with changes in global circulation patterns. Comparisons of BrC implementation approaches find that this implementation predicts a lower BrC REari in the Arctic regions than previous studies with CAM5. Implementation of BrC bleaching effect shows a significant reduction in REari (0.06<span class="thinspace"></span>±<span class="thinspace"></span>0.008<span class="thinspace"></span>W<span class="thinspace"></span>m<sup>&amp;minus;2</sup>). Also, variations in OA density can lead to differences in REari and REaci, indicating the importance of specifying this property when estimating the BrC radiative effects and when comparing similar studies.</p>
doi:10.5194/acp-2018-676 fatcat:q26pofy4pbdmbn6qrj6cybssma