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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1307
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1307
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 23 Jan 2019

Submitted as: research article | 23 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Specifying light absorbing properties of aerosol particles in fresh snow samples, collected at the Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus (UFS), Zugspitze

Claudia Linke1, Inas Ibrahim1, Alexei Kiselev1, Fritz Waitz1, Thomas Leisner1, Till Rehm2, Stefan Norra3, and Martin Schnaiter1,4 Claudia Linke et al.
  • 1Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Aerosol Research, KIT, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 2Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus (UFS), Zugspitze, Germany
  • 3Institute of Geography and Geoecology, IfGG, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 4schnaiTEC GmbH, Zell a. H., Germany

Abstract. Darkening of pristine white areas on Earth could happen when light absorbing particles are deposited on snow and ice surfaces. Airborne particles like mineral dust, ashes or carbonaceous aerosols are able to reduce the snow and ice albedo already by a small quantity of deposited particles. In this study we developed a laboratory analysis method to address mass and absorption properties of snow particles simultaneously. For a set of snow samples, taken at the Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus (UFS) during winter 2016/2017, we combine the determination of refractory Black Carbon mass (rBC) by a Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2) with photo acoustic aerosol absorption spectroscopy at three distinct wavelengths across the visible spectral range (PAAS-3λ). For the calibration of the method, Fullerene standard aerosol was used and its mass specific absorption cross section was determined. The analysis of the UFS snow sample measurements reveals a significant difference between the particle masses determined from the PAAS-3λ and the SP2 data. Our findings suggest that the light absorbing particles included in the snow could not only be composed of rBC but must have particulate matter of different nature. This result is confirmed by Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM) and single particle fluorescence measurements with the Waveband Integrated Bioaerosol Sensor (WIBS-4) which both revealed a significant portion of biological material to be present in the snow samples.

Claudia Linke et al.
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Claudia Linke et al.
Claudia Linke et al.
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Short summary
Aerosols like mineral dust, volcanic ash and carbonaceous particles are airborne particles which finally are deposited on the ground. These particles are colored and therefore more or less light absorbing and when settling on snow or ice surfaces even small amounts of them may increase melting processes and decrease the snow or ice albedo. The actual albedo reduction might be underestimated if different aerosol components and not only black carbon contributes to the light absorption in the snow.
Aerosols like mineral dust, volcanic ash and carbonaceous particles are airborne particles which...
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