Atmospheric concentration of black carbon in the western Arctic

Andreas.Herber [ at ]


Black carbon (BC) influences the Arctic climate by altering the radiation budget. Measurements of atmospheric BC concentration are rare in the Arctic. Furthermore, literature providing information about the current BC concentration or about its evolution refers almost exclusively to ground measurements. Using Polar Airborne Measurements and Arctic Regional Model Simulation Project (PAMARCMiP) data of 2009, 2011 and 2012, an inventory of the current BC concentration is made in this thesis. It is made before the onset of the commercial utitlsation in the Arctic. Besides the horizontal and vertical distribution of BC concentration and its temporal variation, possible source areas are identified and surrogate parameters are sought. Mean BC concentration is about 26 ng/m3 in 2009 and doubles approximately to 52 ng/m3 in 2011 and almost doubles again to 102 ng/m3 in 2012. In contrast to previous results, the vertical distribution of BC concentration analysed in this thesis reveals no height dependency in most cases. Regional differences exist in 2011, while the horizontal distribution is rather homogeneous in 2009. The trajectory analysis reveals air masses including a high amount of BC origin of Eurasia, while air masses transported over the Arctic Ocean, the North Atlantic or northern Canada include a lower amount of BC. Neither ozone concentration, nor particle concentration, nor AOD, nor albedo are exposed to be a surrogate parameter for BC concentration. Further measurements of this kind are necessary to observe the evolution of BC concentration in the Arctic and to force regulations like definitions of thresholds. Additionally, an increase in data density is essential to enhance the reliability of the results.

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Thesis (Diplom)
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Research Networks
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Conrady, K. (2013): Atmospheric concentration of black carbon in the western Arctic , Diplom thesis, University of Hamburg.

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