The Atmospheric Cycle of Elemental Carbon

  • R. J. Charlson
  • J. A. Ogren


Four sets of factors determine the overall nature of the cycling of elemental carbon through the atmosphere and thereby determine the concentration fields, and fluxes in and out of the atmosphere. The source factor controls mass emission rates, initial microphysical properties such as size distribution, initial chemical composition, and location of injection into the atmosphere. Aerosol mechanics determine the rate of coagulation of the elemental carbon particles with themselves and with other aerosol particles, the rate of diffusive removal to surface sinks, and sedimentation.Chemical factors, largely the physical and chemical properties of impure graphitic carbon, subsequently govern the refractive indices along with the chemical interaction of the particles with other gas and aerosol constituents and with liquid water. Finally, meteorological factors include mixing in the planetary boundary layer, advection, incorporation into clouds and/or into cloud droplets, chemical processes inside of cloud drops, cloud evaporation and removal by precipitation. These factors may be linked together in a system flow diagram to explain the observed presence and behavior of carbon particles in air.


Elemental Carbon Graphitic Carbon Soot Particle Cloud Droplet Accumulation Mode 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Charlson
    • 1
  • J. A. Ogren
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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