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Title: Aerosols in and above the Bornean rainforest
Author: Robinson, Niall Hamilton
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 1743
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2011
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Atmospheric aerosols affect climate directly by scattering and absorbing solar radiation, and indirectly by affecting the albedo and lifetime of clouds through their role as cloud condensation nuclei. Aerosol sources, and the processes that govern their evolution in the atmosphere are not well understood, making the aerosol effects a significant source of uncertainty in future climate predictions. The tropics experience a large solar flux meaning that any radiative forcing in this region is particularly important. Despite this, there is a paucity of data from the tropics, with the majority of previous studies performed in the northern mid-latitudes. The few in-situ studies of aerosol composition that have been performed are all in the continental settings of Amazonia or Africa. Until now the 'maritime continent' region of South East Asia has remained unstudied. Presented here are Aerosol Mass Spectrometer composition measurements from the Oxidant and Particulate Processes Above a South East Asian Rainforest project, performed from ground and airborne measurement platforms in and around the rainforest of Borneo, South-East Asia. Unlike the previous tropical studies, this allows for the characterisation of a region of mixed terrestrial and marine biogenic emissions. The region is also undergoing rapid land use change, with forest being converted for agriculture, particularly the cultivation of oil palms. This study also allows for the characterisation of a region that is beginning to undergo land use change, providing insight into emissions from different land use types, and providing a benchmark to measure the effects of land use change against in the future.Total sub-micron aerosol loadings were found to be lower than studies in the northern mid-latitudes, similar to previous tropical studies. However, aerosol composition was different to that observed in Amazonia, with much greater sulphate loadings in Borneo. A regional background of sulphate and highly oxidised organic aerosol was identified, with organic aerosol that is less oxidised originating inland. Aerosol confined to a shallow marine boundary layer upwind of Borneo is lofted higher into the troposphere as it advects across the island, with regional aerosol being removed and biogenic terrestrial aerosol added. The lofting of this aerosol is expected to extend its atmospheric lifetime and change its role in the Earth's radiative budget. A novel organic aerosol signal was identified which correlated with gas phase isoprene oxidation products, strongly suggesting that it was significant of isoprene SOA. Aerosol associated with this signal made up a substantial fraction of the organic aerosol loading. This opens up the opportunity for future studies to make isoprene SOA measurements using the Aerosol Mass Spectrometer in other studies. A substantial amount of the organic aerosol in Borneo was attributed to isoprene oxidation.
Supervisor: Coe, Hugh ; Allan, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: aerosol ; tropics ; atmospheric chemistry ; climate change ; deforrestation ; rainforest ; Borneo