EGU21-13162
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13162
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Composition Dependence of Stratospheric Aerosol Radiative Forcing

Yaowei Li1, John Dykema2, and Frank Keutsch3,4,5
Yaowei Li et al.
  • 1School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States of America (yaoweili@seas.harvard.edu)
  • 2School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States of America (dykema@huarp.harvard.edu)
  • 3School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States of America (keutsch@seas.harvard.edu)
  • 4Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States of America (keutsch@seas.harvard.edu)
  • 5Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States of America (keutsch@seas.harvard.edu)

Model results suggest organic aerosol represents a significant fraction of total stratospheric aerosol radiative forcing, which in itself could represent as much as a quarter of global radiative forcing. Other model investigations suggest that the radiative influence of organic aerosols and dust must be included to obtain consistency with satellite measurements of stratospheric aerosols. In situ observations suggest that stratospheric aerosol composition is strongly vertically dependent and contains a significant organic component in the lower stratosphere. Laboratory studies suggest a range of possible values for the complex refractive index of organic aerosols in the stratosphere. The real part of the refractive index could vary over a range that brackets the value of the real refractive index for pure sulfuric acid/water aerosols. The imaginary part of the refractive index of the organic component is highly uncertain, suggesting aerosols that range from being purely refractive to significantly absorbing (eg, brown carbon). The mixing state of these mixed composition aerosols is also uncertain; depending on the complex refractive index of the organic component, morphological variation could have a significant influence on aerosol radiative properties. In this work we perform a sensitivity study of shortwave radiative forcing of stratospheric aerosols, examining the influence of different plausible values of complex refractive index and particle morphologies. In situ measurements of aerosol size and composition are used to represent the size distribution, vertical profile, and organic mass fraction for the computation of aerosol optical properties. These profiles of aerosol optical properties are used as inputs to a radiative transfer model to calculate profiles of shortwave fluxes and radiative heating rates for standard model atmospheres. The implications of the variations in aerosol optical depth and resulting radiative forcing are interpreted in terms of implications for satellite measurements of stratospheric radiative forcing. The various radiative forcing results and remote sensing implications for different scenarios of organic complex refractive index and morphology call for better understandings of the effects of chemical evolution and transport dynamics on the aerosol optical properties in the stratosphere.

How to cite: Li, Y., Dykema, J., and Keutsch, F.: Composition Dependence of Stratospheric Aerosol Radiative Forcing, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13162, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13162, 2021.

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