A characterization of Arctic aerosols on the basis of aerosol optical depth and black carbon measurements


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Andreas.Herber [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Aerosols, transported from distant source regions, influence the Arctic surface radiation budget. When deposited on snow and ice, carbonaceous particles can reduce the surface albedo, which accelerates melting, leading to a temperature-albedo feedback that amplifies Arctic warming. Black carbon (BC), in particular, has been implicated as a major warming agent at high latitudes. BC and co-emitted aerosols in the atmosphere, however, attenuate sunlight and radiatively cool the surface. Warming by soot deposition and cooling by atmospheric aerosols are referred to as “darkening” and “dimming” effects, respectively. In this study, climatologies of spectral aerosol optical depth AOD (2001–2011) and Equivalent BC (EBC) (1989–2011) from three Arctic observatories and from a number of aircraft campaigns are used to characterize Arctic aerosols. Since the 1980s, concentrations of BC in the Arctic have decreased by more than 50% at ground stations where in situ observations are made. AOD has increased slightly during the past decade, with variations attributed to changing emission inventories and source strengths of natural aerosols, including biomass smoke and volcanic aerosol, further influenced by deposition rates and airflow patterns



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
36185
DOI 10.12952/journal.elementa.000027

Cite as
Stone, R. S. , Sharma, S. , Herber, A. , Eleftheriadis, K. and Nelson, D. W. (2014): A characterization of Arctic aerosols on the basis of aerosol optical depth and black carbon measurements , ELEMENTA - Science of the Antropocene . doi: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000027


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