Abundances and Microphysical Properties of Light-Absorbing Iron Oxide and Black Carbon Aerosols Over East Asia and the Arctic

Atsushi Yoshida, Nobuhiro Moteki, Sho Ohata, Tatsuhiro Mori, Makoto Koike, Yutaka Kondo, Hitoshi Matsui, Naga Oshima, Akinori Takami, Kazuyuki Kita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Black carbon (BC), brown carbon, and light-absorbing iron oxides (FeOx) aerosols affect Earth's energy budget through their strong absorption of solar radiation. FeOx aerosols can also affect global biogeochemical cycles through their role as a nutrient for oceanic phytoplankton. However, observational data for these aerosols required for evaluating their effects using global models are scarce, especially for FeOx. Here, we summarize and compare the data sets of BC and FeOx from five ground-based and three aircraft observation campaigns conducted in the East Asian and Arctic regions during the 2009–2018 period acquired using a modified single-particle soot photometer. In these campaigns, >80% of FeOx-containing aerosols in the 170–270 nm FeOx core size range had microphysical features indicating an anthropogenic origin. The particle size distribution for each of the BC and FeOx was similar in all of the data sets except for those dominated by fresh urban pollution or pristine Arctic air. The campaign-averaged mass concentrations of FeOx and BC were ~60–360 ng/m3 and ~240–1,300 ng/m3, respectively, in East Asia, and ~6 ng/m3 and ~20–30 ng/m3, respectively, in the Arctic. The campaign-averaged FeOx/BC mass concentration ratio varied within a narrow range of 0.2–0.6 in both East Asian and Arctic regions. In every campaign, FeOx, BC, and carbon monoxide were tightly correlated with each other with similar slope to the urban campaigns (around Tokyo), implying the spatiotemporal variation of anthropogenic FeOx emission around northern middle-to-high latitudes is similar to those of anthropogenic BC and CO emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2019JD032301
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 16
Externally publishedYes


  • Arctic
  • East Asia
  • black carbon
  • iron oxide
  • single-particle soot photometer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science


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