3 years ago

Ambient black carbon particulate matter in the coal region of Dhanbad, India

Ambient black carbon particulate matter in the coal region of Dhanbad, India
Light-absorbing, atmospheric particles have gained greater attention in recent years because of their direct and indirect impacts on regional and global climate. Atmospheric black carbon (BC) aerosol is a leading climate warming agent, yet uncertainties in the global direct aerosol radiative forcing remain large. Based on a year of aerosol absorption measurements at seven wavelengths, BC concentrations were investigated in Dhanbad, the coal capital of India. Coal is routinely burned for cooking and residential heat as well as in small industries. The mean daily concentrations of ultraviolet-absorbing black carbon measured at 370nm (UVBC) and black carbon measured at 880nm (BC) were 9.8±5.7 and 6.5±3.8μgm3, respectively. The difference between UVBC and BC, Delta-C, is an indicator of biomass or residential coal burning and averaged 3.29±4.61μgm3. An alternative approach uses the Ǻngstrom Exponent (AE) to estimate the biomass/coal and traffic BC concentrations. Biomass/coal burning contributed ~87% and high temperature, fossil-fuel combustion contributed ~13% to the annual average BC concentration. The post-monsoon seasonal mean UVBC values were 10.9μgm3 and BC of 7.2μgm3. Potential source contribution function analysis showed that in the post-monsoon season, air masses came from the central and northwestern Indo-Gangetic Plains where there is extensive agricultural burning. The mean winter UVBC and BC concentrations were 15.0 and 10.1μgm3, respectively. These higher values were largely produced by local sources under poor dispersion conditions. The direct radiative forcing (DRF) due to UVBC and BC at the surface (SUR) and the top of the atmosphere (TOA) were calculated. The mean atmospheric heating rates due to UVBC and BC were estimated to be 1.40°Kday1 and 1.18°Kday1, respectively. This high heating rate may affect the monsoon circulation in this region.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S004896971732658X

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