Articles | Volume 16, issue 3
Research article
11 Feb 2016
Research article |  | 11 Feb 2016

Remote sensing of soot carbon – Part 1: Distinguishing different absorbing aerosol species

G. L. Schuster, O. Dubovik, and A. Arola

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Cited articles

Alfaro, S., Lafon, S., Rajot, J., Formenti, P., Gaudichet, A., and Maille, M.: Iron oxides and light absorption by pure desert dust: an experimental study, J. Geophys. Res., 109, D08208,, 2004.
Andreae, M. O. and Gelencsér, A.: Black carbon or brown carbon? The nature of light-absorbing carbonaceous aerosols, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 6, 3131–3148,, 2006.
Arimoto, R., Balsam, W., and Schloesslin, C.: Visible spectroscopy of aerosol particles collected on filters: iron-oxide minerals, Atmos. Environ., 36, 89–96, 2002.
Arola, A., Schuster, G., Myhre, G., Kazadzis, S., Dey, S., and Tripathi, S. N.: Inferring absorbing organic carbon content from AERONET data, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 215–225,, 2011.
Bahadur, R., Praveen, P., Xu, Y., and Ramanathan, V.: Solar absorption by elemental and brown carbon determined from spectral observations, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109, 17366–17371,, 2012.
Short summary
We describe a method of using remote sensing of the refractive index to determine the relative contribution of carbonaceous aerosols and absorbing iron minerals. Monthly climatologies of fine mode soot carbon are low for West Africa and the Middle East, but the southern Africa and South America biomass burning sites have peak values that are much higher; this is consistent with expectations. Hence, refractive index is a practical parameter for quantifying soot carbon in the atmosphere.
Final-revised paper