Articles | Volume 20, issue 4
Research article
20 Feb 2020
Research article |  | 20 Feb 2020

Modeling the global radiative effect of brown carbon: a potentially larger heating source in the tropical free troposphere than black carbon

Aoxing Zhang, Yuhang Wang, Yuzhong Zhang, Rodney J. Weber, Yongjia Song, Ziming Ke, and Yufei Zou
Short summary
Black carbon (BC) and brown carbon (BrC) are light-absorbing carbonaceous aerosols. We developed a module to simulate the emissions, atmospheric processing and direct radiative effect of BrC in the Community Earth System Model (CESM). We found that globally BrC is a significant absorber and is more centered in the tropical free troposphere compared to BC. The contribution of BrC heating to the Hadley circulation and latitudinal expansion of the tropics is comparable to BC heating.
Final-revised paper