Effects of Aerosol from Biomass Burning on the Global Radiation Budget

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  05 Jun 1992:
Vol. 256, Issue 5062, pp. 1432-1434
DOI: 10.1126/science.256.5062.1432


An analysis is made of the likely contribution of smoke particles from biomass burning to the global radiation balance. These particles act to reflect solar radiation directly; they also can act as cloud condensation nuclei, increasing the reflectivity of clouds. Together these effects, although uncertain, may add up globally to a cooling effect as large as 2 watts per square meter, comparable to the estimated contribution of sulfate aerosols. Anthropogenic increases of smoke emission thus may have helped weaken the net greenhouse warming from anthropogenic trace gases.

Related Content