We present modeled aerosol optical properties (single scattering albedo, asymmetry parameter, and lidar ratio) in two layers with different aerosol loadings and particle sizes, observed during the Southern African Regional Science Initiative 2000 (SAFARI 2000) campaign. The optical properties were calculated from aerosol size distributions retrieved from aerosol layer optical thickness spectra, measured using the NASA Ames airborne tracking 14-channel sunphotometer (AATS-14) and the refractive index based on the available information on aerosol chemical composition. The study focuses on sensitivity of modeled optical properties in the 0.3–1.5 μm wavelength range to assumptions regarding the mixing scenario. We considered two models for the mixture of absorbing and nonabsorbing aerosol components commonly used to model optical properties of biomass burning aerosol: a layered sphere with absorbing core and nonabsorbing shell and the Maxwell–Garnett effective medium model. In addition, comparisons of modeled optical properties with the measurements are discussed. We also estimated the radiative effect of the difference in aerosol absorption implied by the large difference between the single scattering albedo values ( at midvisible wavelengths) obtained from different measurement methods for the case with a high amount of biomass burning particles. For that purpose, the volume fraction of black carbon was varied to obtain a range of single scattering albedo values (0.81–0.91 at ). The difference in absorption resulted in a significant difference in the instantaneous radiative forcing at the surface and the top of the atmosphere (TOA) and can result in a change of the sign of the aerosol forcing at TOA from negative to positive.
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