Strong impact of wildfires on the abundance and aging of black carbon in the lowermost stratosphere

Caracterización del carbono negro
presente en la estratosfera baja
Black carbon
Biomass burning
Atmospheric aerosols
Aerosol mixing-state

Jeannine Ditas, Nan Ma, Yuxuan Zhang, Denise Assmann, Marco Neumaier, Hella Riede, Einar Karu, Jonathan Williams, Dieter Scharffe, Qiaoqiao Wang, Jorge Saturno, Joshua P. Schwarz, Joseph M. Katich, Gavin R. McMeeking, Andreas Zahn, Markus Hermann, Carl A. M. Brenninkmeijer, Meinrat O. Andreae, Ulrich Pöschl, Hang Su, Yafang Cheng, Strong impact of wildfires on the abundance and aging of black carbon in the lowermost stratosphere, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 201806868, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1806868115


Jeannine Ditas

Nan Ma

Yuxuan Zhang

Denise Assmann

Marco Neumaier

Hella Riede

Einar Karu

Jonathan Williams

Dieter Scharffe

Qiaoqiao Wang

Jorge Saturno

Joshua P. Schwarz

Joseph M. Katich

Gavin R. McMeeking

Andreas Zahn

Markus Hermann

Carl A. M. Brenninkmeijer

Meinrat O. Andreae

Ulrich Pöschl

Hang Su

Yafang Cheng

Fecha de publicación

noviembre 2018

Otros detalles

Using CARIBIC data.


Wildfires inject large amounts of black carbon (BC) particles into the atmosphere, which can reach the lowermost stratosphere (LMS) and cause strong radiative forcing. During a 14-month period of observations on board a passenger aircraft flying between Europe and North America, we found frequent and widespread biomass burning (BB) plumes, influencing 16 of 160 flight hours in the LMS. The average BC mass concentrations in these plumes (∼140 ng−3 , standard temperature and pressure) were over 20 times higher than the background concentration (∼6 ng−3 ) with more than 100-fold enhanced peak values (up to ∼720 ng−3 ). In the LMS, nearly all BC particles were covered with a thick coating. The average mass equivalent diameter of the BC particle cores was ∼120 nm with a mean coating thickness of ∼150 nm in the BB plume and ∼90 nm with a coating of ∼125 nm in the background. In a BB plume that was encountered twice, we also found a high diameter growth rate of ∼1 nm−1 due to the BC particle coatings. The observed high concentrations and thick coatings of BC particles demonstrate that wildfires can induce strong local heating in the LMS and may have a significant influence on the regional radiative forcing of climate.


 author = {Ditas, Jeannine and Ma, Nan and Zhang, Yuxuan and Assmann, Denise and Neumaier, Marco and Riede, Hella and Karu, Einar and Williams, Jonathan and Scharffe, Dieter and Wang, Qiaoqiao and Saturno, Jorge and Schwarz, Joshua P. and Katich, Joseph M. and McMeeking, Gavin R. and Zahn, Andreas and Hermann, Markus and Brenninkmeijer, Carl A. M. and Andreae, Meinrat O. and Pöschl, Ulrich and Su, Hang and Cheng, Yafang},
 doi = {10.1073/pnas.1806868115},
 isbn = {1803245115},
 issn = {0027-8424},
 journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
 keywords = {Aging,SP2},
 month = {nov},
 pages = {201806868},
 title = {Strong impact of wildfires on the abundance and aging of black carbon in the lowermost stratosphere},
 url = {},
 year = {2018}