Direct radiative effect by brown carbon over the Indo-Gangetic Plain

The importance of light-absorbing organic aerosols, often called brown carbon (BrC), has become evident in recent years. However, there have been relatively few measurement-based estimates for the direct radiative effect of BrC so far. In earlier studies, the AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET)-measured aerosol absorption optical depth (AAOD) and absorption Angstrom exponent (AAE) were exploited. However, these two pieces of information are clearly not sufficient to separate properly carbonaceous aerosols from dust, while imaginary indices of refraction would contain more and better justified information for this purpose. This is first time that the direct radiative effect (DRE) of BrC is estimated by exploiting the AERONET-retrieved imaginary indices. We estimated it for four sites in the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP), Karachi, Lahore, Kanpur and Gandhi College.

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