Aerosol light scattering properties at Cape Grim, Tasmania, during the First Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE 1)

Christian M. Carrico, Mark J. Rood, John A. Ogren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Large uncertainties remain in understanding the effects of ambient aerosols on climate. As part of the First Aerosol Characterization Experiment (ACE 1, November 15 to December 15, 1995), the total light scattering and backscattering coefficients by particles (σsp and σbsp) were measured at Cape Grim, Tasmania. Such measurements were made to characterize aerosol radiative forcing relevant to climate change at a southern hemisphere site. A controlled relative humidity (RH) nephelometry system (humidograph) was used to measure the dependence of σsp and σbsp upon controlled RH, upper particle diameter (Dp), and wavelength of light (λ). Parameters derived from the measurements necessary to incorporate aerosols into climate models include the dependence of light scattering on aerosol hygroscopic growth (f(RH) ) and the hemispheric backscatter fraction (b), both as functions of wavelength of light. Differences in parameter values during clean marine and non-clean-marine time periods were greatest for σsp and σbsp for Dp ≤ 1 μm and were least for f(RH) and b. During clean marine conditions, for Dp < 10 μm, and at λ=550 nm, means and standard deviations of key parameters measured included /(RH equal to 82%).= 1.98 ± 0.08 for σsp, f(RH equal to 82%) = 1.48 ± 0.09 for σbsp, b = 0.16 ± 0.01 at RH equal to 22%, and b = 0.12 ± 0.03 at RH equal to 82%. These measurements contribute to characterizing aerosol optical properties at a remote marine site, serve as a basis of comparison to polluted sites, and may provide input to climate models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number98JD00685
Pages (from-to)16565-16574
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue numberD13
StatePublished - Jul 20 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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