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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1306
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1306
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 14 Jan 2019

Research article | 14 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Radiative Forcing by Light-Absorbing Particles in Snow in Northeastern China Retrieved from Satellite Observations

Wei Pu1, Jiecan Cui1, Tenglong Shi1, Xuelei Zhang2, Cenlin He3, and Xin Wang1 Wei Pu et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
  • 3National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80301, USA

Abstract. Light-absorbing particles (LAPs) deposited on snow can decrease snow albedo and affect climate through the snow-albedo radiative forcing. In this study, we use MODIS observations combined with a snow albedo model (SNICAR) and a radiative transfer model (SBDART) to retrieve the radiative forcing by LAPs in snow (RFLapsMODIS) across Northeastern China (NEC) in January–February from 2003 to 2017. RFLapsMODIS presents distinct spatial variability, with the minimum (22.3 W m−2) in western NEC and the maximum (64.6 W m−2) near industrial areas in central NEC. The regional mean RFLapsMODIS is ~ 45.1 ± 6.8 W m−2 in NEC. The positive (negative) uncertainties of retrieved RFLapsMODIS due to atmospheric correction range from 14 % to 57 % (−14 % to −47 %) and the uncertainty value basically decreased with the increased RFLapsMODIS. We attribute the variations of radiative forcing based on remote sensing and find that the spatial variance of RFLapsMODIS in NEC is 74.6 % due to LAPs, while 21.2 % and 4.2 % due to snow grain size, and solar zenith angle. Furthermore, based on multiple linear regression, the BC dry and wet deposition and snowfall could totally explain 81 % of the spatial variance of LAP contents, which confirms the reasonability of the spatial patterns of retrieved RFLapsMODIS in NEC. We validate RFLapsMODIS using in situ radiative forcing estimates. We find that the biases in RFLapsMODIS are negatively correlated with LAP concentrations and range from ~ 5 % to ~ 350 % in NEC.

Wei Pu et al.
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Short summary
LAPs (light-absorbing particles) deposited on snow can decrease snow albedo and increase the absorption of solar radiation. The radiative forcing by LAPs will affect the regional hydrological cycle and climate. We use MODIS observations to retrieve the radiative forcing by LAPs in snow across northeastern China (NEC). The results of radiative forcing present distinct spatial variability. We find that the biases are negatively correlated with LAP concentrations and range from ~ 5 % to ~ 350 % in NEC.
LAPs (light-absorbing particles) deposited on snow can decrease snow albedo and increase the...
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