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ATom: Aerosol Extinction and Absorption Measurements from SOAP Instrument, 2018

This dataset contains one-second aerosol extinction and absorption measurements from the Spectrometers for Optical Aerosol Properties (SOAP) instrument aboard the NASA DC-8 aircraft during the ATom-4 campaign that occurred in 2018. SOAP is a compact, low maintenance instrument that measures aerosol extinction and absorption at 532 nm. Aerosol extinction is measured by cavity ringdown spectroscopy and aerosol absorption by photoacoustic spectroscopy. Extinction is measured with sufficient precision and accuracy for the remote atmosphere. The absorption measurements are valid only in strongly absorbing cases, such as in dilute plumes from wildfire smoke. The absorption and extinction of visible light by aerosol particles is a major component of the earth's radiation budget, strongly affecting climate. Highly absorbing particles directly heat the atmosphere, while particles that scatter light tend to cool the atmosphere. Extinction is the sum of absorption and scattering; in most cases scattering represents >90% of extinction, with absorption making up the remainder. These aerosol-radiation interactions also alter air temperature and the rates of photochemical reactions.

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