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Japanese and US researchers developed an advanced model to assess the ability of black carbon particles to absorb sunlight and contribute to global warming. The model achieved higher sensitivity than obtained by previous models because it considered both particle size and the complex mixing states of black carbon in air. This advanced model will aid in the assessment of the effectiveness of removing black carbon from the atmosphere to suppress climate change.
Black carbon refers to tiny carbon particles that form during incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels. Black carbon particles absorb sunlight, so they are considered to contribute to global warming. However,the contribution of black carbon to the heating of the Earth's atmosphere is currently uncertain. Models that can accurately assess the warming effect of black carbon on our atmosphere are needed so that we can understand the contribution of these tiny carbon particles to climate change. The mixing state of black carbon particles and their particle size strongly influence their ability to absorb sunlight, but current models have large uncertainties associated with both particle size and mixing state.
Researchers - Nagoya - Cornell - Universities - Expertise
Researchers from Nagoya and Cornell Universities have combined their expertise to develop a model that can predict the direct radiative effect of black carbon with high accuracy. The team achieved such a model by considering various particle sizes and mixing states of black carbon particles in air.
"Most aerosol models are using one or two black carbon mixing states,which are not sufficient to accurately describe the mixing state...
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