Global radiative effects of solid fuel cookstove aerosol emissions
Abstract. We apply the NCAR CAM5-Chem global aerosol-climate model to quantify the net global radiative effects of black and organic carbon aerosols from global and Indian solid fuel cookstove emissions for the year 2010. Our assessment accounts for the direct radiative effects, changes to cloud albedo and lifetime (aerosol indirect effect, AIE), impacts on clouds via the vertical temperature profile (semi-direct effect, SDE) and changes in the surface albedo of snow and ice (surface albedo effect). In addition, we provide the first estimate of household solid fuel black carbon emission effects on ice clouds. Anthropogenic emissions are from the IIASA GAINS ECLIPSE V5a inventory. A global dataset of black carbon (BC) and organic aerosol (OA) measurements from surface sites and aerosol optical depth (AOD) from AERONET is used to evaluate the model skill. Compared with observations, the model successfully reproduces the spatial patterns of atmospheric BC and OA concentrations, and agrees with measurements to within a factor of 2. Globally, the simulated AOD agrees well with observations, with a normalized mean bias close to zero. However, the model tends to underestimate AOD over India and China by ∼ 19 ± 4 % but overestimate it over Africa by ∼ 25 ± 11 % (± represents modeled temporal standard deviations for n = 5 run years). Without BC serving as ice nuclei (IN), global and Indian solid fuel cookstove aerosol emissions have net global cooling radiative effects of −141 ± 4 mW m−2 and −12 ± 4 mW m−2, respectively (± represents modeled temporal standard deviations for n = 5 run years). The net radiative impacts are dominated by the AIE and SDE mechanisms, which originate from enhanced cloud condensation nuclei concentrations for the formation of liquid and mixed-phase clouds, and a suppression of convective transport of water vapor from the lower troposphere to the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere that in turn leads to reduced ice cloud formation. When BC is allowed to behave as a source of IN, the net global radiative impacts of the global and Indian solid fuel cookstove emissions range from −275 to +154 mW m−2 and −33 to +24 mW m−2, with globally averaged values of −59 ± 215 and 0.3 ± 29 mW m−2, respectively. Here, the uncertainty range is based on sensitivity simulations that alter the maximum freezing efficiency of BC across a plausible range: 0.01, 0.05 and 0.1. BC–ice cloud interactions lead to substantial increases in high cloud (< 500 hPa) fractions. Thus, the net sign of the impacts of carbonaceous aerosols from solid fuel cookstoves on global climate (warming or cooling) remains ambiguous until improved constraints on BC interactions with mixed-phase and ice clouds are available.