Influence of the Atmospheric Aerosol on Albedo

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  • 1 Depts. of Civil Engineering and Geophysics, University of Washington, Seattle
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Abstract

The possible climatic effects of the secular increase of aerosols from man's activities have been coupled with the microphysics of the aerosol properties. The magnitude of the critical aerosol absorption coefficient to backscatter coefficient, (b abs/ b bs)critical, was estimated for a model atmosphere corresponding to cooling or heating of the earth with increasing aerosol concentration. The b abs/b bs ratio was calculated with Mie theory assuming a Junge particle size distribution and spherical particles as a function of the imaginary part of the particle refractive index (particle light absorption) and the size distribution slope. Comparing the b abs/b bs ratio calculated from Mie theory to the critical b abs/ b bs, cooling might ensue if the imaginary part is less than 10−3 while heating may result if it is greater than 0.1.

Abstract

The possible climatic effects of the secular increase of aerosols from man's activities have been coupled with the microphysics of the aerosol properties. The magnitude of the critical aerosol absorption coefficient to backscatter coefficient, (b abs/ b bs)critical, was estimated for a model atmosphere corresponding to cooling or heating of the earth with increasing aerosol concentration. The b abs/b bs ratio was calculated with Mie theory assuming a Junge particle size distribution and spherical particles as a function of the imaginary part of the particle refractive index (particle light absorption) and the size distribution slope. Comparing the b abs/b bs ratio calculated from Mie theory to the critical b abs/ b bs, cooling might ensue if the imaginary part is less than 10−3 while heating may result if it is greater than 0.1.

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