Reduction of Snow Surface Albedo by Black Carbon

Thomas Kirchstetter Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Category: Aerosol Properties

Working Group: Aerosol Life Cycle

The black carbon deposited in snow and ice is thought to contribute to global warming and to the melting of snowpack, ice, and glaciers worldwide. Climate models'' predictions are partly verified by black carbon concentrations measured in snow at a number of locations worldwide, but the snow albedo reduction by black carbon is based mainly on theory, because this effect is difficult to measure under natural conditions. This presentation is about laboratory experiments designed to examine the reduction of snow surface albedo by black carbon. Two types of experiments will be featured: one to quantify the dependence of snow spectral albedo on black carbon concentration and snow grain size, and the other to examine how black carbon is transported in melting snow. The process of creating and characterizing snow will be described, and experimental observations will be compared with the assumptions and predictions of climate models.

This poster will be displayed at ASR Science Team Meeting.