The Optical Properties of Particulate Elemental Carbon

  • R. W. Bergstrom
  • T. P. Ackerman
  • L. W. Richards


Recent measurements of the absorption and scattering coefficients of tropospheric aerosols in both rural and urban areas have shown that these particles exhibit a significant (5 to 50% of the total extinction) amount of absorption in the visible spectrum. Elemental analyses have indicated that particulate elemental carbon is present and is the likely candidate to account for much of this observed absorption. Previous studies have demonstrated both experimentally and theoretically that a small amount of submicron carbon particles has a large effect on the absorption and scattering properties of tropospheric aerosols. This paper discusses the optical properties of particulate elemental carbon and illustrates the impact of these properties on the horizon brightness.


Soot Particle Accumulation Mode Coarse Mode Nucleation Mode Tropospheric Aerosol 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    E. M. Patterson and D. A. Gillette, J. Geo. Res., Vol. 82 (1977), p. 2075.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    K. T. Whitby, Atmos. Environ., Vol. 12 (1978), p. 135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    R. W. Bergstrom, Beitrage zur Physik der Atmosphare, Vol. 46 (1973), p. 223.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    O. B. Toon and J. B. Pollack, J. Appl. Meteor., Vol. 15 (1976), p. 223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    J. E. Hansen, A. A. Lacis, P. Lee and W. C. Wang, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci., Vol. 338 (1980), p. 575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    S. L. Heisler, R. C. Henry, J. G. Watson and G. M. Hidy, “The 1978 Denver Winter Haze Study,” ERT Report P-5417–1 prepared for the Motor Vehicles Manufacturers Association of the United States, Detroit, Michigan, 1980.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. W. Bergstrom
    • 1
  • T. P. Ackerman
    • 2
  • L. W. Richards
    • 3
  1. 1.Systems Applications, Inc.San RafaelUSA
  2. 2.NASA Ames Research CenterMoffett FieldUSA
  3. 3.Meteorology Research, Inc.Santa RosaUSA

Personalised recommendations