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Individual particle morphology, coatings, and impurities of black carbon aerosols in Antarctic ice and tropical rainfall


Ellis, A and Edwards, R and Saunders, M and Chakrabarty, RK and Subramanian, R and Timms, NE and van Riessen, A and Smith, AM and Lambrinidis, D and Nunes, LJ and Vallelonga, P and Goodwin, ID and Moy, AD and Curran, MAJ and van Ommen, TD, Individual particle morphology, coatings, and impurities of black carbon aerosols in Antarctic ice and tropical rainfall, Geophysical Research Letters, 43, (22) pp. 11875-11883. ISSN 0094-8276 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1002/2016GL071042


Black carbon (BC) aerosols are a large source of climate warming, impact atmospheric chemistry, and are implicated in large-scale changes in atmospheric circulation. Inventories of BC emissions suggest significant changes in the global BC aerosol distribution due to human activity. However, little is known regarding BC's atmospheric distribution or aged particle characteristics before the twentieth century. Here we investigate the prevalence and structural properties of BC particles in Antarctic ice cores from 1759, 1838, and 1930 Common Era (C.E.) using transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The study revealed an unexpected diversity in particle morphology, insoluble coatings, and association with metals. In addition to conventionally occurring BC aggregates, we observed single BC monomers, complex aggregates with internally, and externally mixed metal and mineral impurities, tar balls, and organonitrogen coatings. The results of the study show BC particles in the remote Antarctic atmosphere exhibit complexity that is unaccounted for in atmospheric models of BC.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:black carbon, aerosols, ice cores, Antarctic ice
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Climate change science
Research Field:Climate change processes
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Understanding climate change not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Moy, AD (Dr Andrew Moy)
UTAS Author:Curran, MAJ (Dr Mark Curran)
UTAS Author:van Ommen, TD (Dr Tas van Ommen)
ID Code:113238
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2016-12-16
Last Modified:2017-10-30
Downloads:211 View Download Statistics

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