GEOGRAPHY

Differences in biogenic aerosols on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and their association with brown carbon light absorption were revealed


Atmospheric primary bioaerosols (PBAPs) released by the biosphere are widely present in the Earth system, with arabinitol, mannitol, glucose and trehalose as the main biogenic components, and are used as tracers for the characterization and resolution of PBAPs. Some studies have pointed out that PBAPs have important contributions to atmospheric brown carbon, but there are few studies on the nature of PBAPs and their contribution to brown carbon in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Professor Zhu Chongshu of the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and others worked in Ali, Beilu River and Qinghai Lake at high altitudes on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and explored the seasonal variation characteristics of key tracers of PBAPs and their relationship with the optical absorption of brown carbon. The results showed that the concentration of biogenic components in the northeast and southwest plateau regions was high, and the concentration in the core area was very low, and there were significant spatial differences in the aerosols of biogenic biosources in the plateau. The correlation analysis of PBAPs components with primary brown carbon light absorption showed that PBAPs may be an important part of brown carbon in the southwest plateau. Qinghai Lake has the highest palm carbon and its absorption index, indicating that the contribution of non-fossil fuel combustion emissions in the region is large. The potential contribution source areas of PBAPs and FSPD OC (biogenic organic carbon) were also discussed, including the interior of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Gangetic Plain. Due to the potential impact of PBAPs on the atmospheric environment and climate, more attention should be paid to the study of the relationship between chemical composition and brown carbon light absorption in areas sensitive to environmental changes on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Concentration characteristics of biogenic components in different regions of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the relationship between photoabsorption of biogenic organic carbon and brown carbon. (Photo courtesy of the Institute of Global Environment)

The results were recently published in the journal Atmospheric Environment. This research was jointly funded by the Strategic Leading Science and Technology Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Second Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program (STEP), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China. (Source: Yan Tao, China Science News)

Related paper information:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2022.119394



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