Recent Published Articles

A short climatology of black and brown carbon and their sources at a suburban site impacted by smoke in Brazil


Eva Maria Mollinedo , Admir Créso Targino , Patricia Krecl , Gabriel Yoshikazu Oukawa

DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2022.12.025

Received August 13, 2022,Revised , Accepted December 20, 2022, Available online December 28, 2022

Volume 36,2024,Pages 498-511

Emissions from biomass burning challenge efforts to curb air pollution in cities downwind of fire-prone regions, as they contribute large amounts of brown carbon (BrC) and black carbon (BC) particles. We investigated the patterns of BrC and BC concentrations using Aethalometer data (at λ = 370 and 880 nm, respectively) spanning four years at a site impacted by the outflow of smoke. The data required to be post processed for the shadowing effect since, without correction, concentrations would be between 29% and 35% underestimated. The BrC concentrations were consistently higher than the BC concentrations, indicating the prevalence of aerosols from biomass burning. The results were supported by the Ångström coefficient (Å370/880), with values predominantly larger than 1 (mean ± standard deviation: 1.25 ± 0.31). Å370/880 values below 1 were more prevalent during the wet season, which suggests a contribution from fossil fuel combustion. We observed sharp BrC and BC seasonal signals, with mean minimum concentrations of 0.40 µg/m3 and 0.36 µg/m3, respectively, in the wet season, and mean maximum concentrations of 2.05 µg/m3 and 1.53 µg/m3 in the dry season. The largest concentrations were observed when northerly air masses moved over regions with a high density of fire spots. Local burning of residential solid waste and industrial combustion caused extreme BrC and BC concentrations under favourable wind directions. Although neither pollutant is included in any ambient air quality standards, our results suggest that transboundary smoke may hamper efforts to meet the World Health Organization guidelines for fine particles.

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