Arctic black carbon during PAMARCMiP 2018 and previous aircraft experiments in spring

Andreas.Herber [ at ]


Vertical profiles of the mass concentration of black carbon (BC) were measured at altitudes up to 5km dur- ing the PAMARCMiP (Polar Airborne Measurements and Arctic Regional Climate Model simulation Project) aircraft- based field experiment conducted around the northern Green- land Sea (Fram Strait) during March and April 2018 from operation base Station Nord (81.6◦ N, 16.7◦ W). Median BC mass concentrations in individual altitude ranges were 7–18 ng m−3 at standard temperature and pressure at alti- tudes below 4.5km. These concentrations were systemati- cally lower than previous observations in the Arctic in spring, conducted by ARCTAS-A in 2008 and NETCARE in 2015, and similar to those observed during HIPPO3 in 2010. Col- umn amounts of BC for altitudes below 5 km in the Arctic (>66.5◦ N; COLBC), observed during the ARCTAS-A and NETCARE experiments, were higher by factors of 4.2 and 2.7, respectively, than those of the PAMARCMiP experi- ment. These differences could not be explained solely by the different locations of the experiments. The year-to-year variation of COLBC values generally corresponded to that of biomass burning activities in northern midlatitudes over western and eastern Eurasia. Furthermore, numerical model simulations estimated the year-to-year variation of contribu- tions from anthropogenic sources to be smaller than 30 %– 40 %. These results suggest that the year-to-year variation of biomass burning activities likely affected BC amounts in the Arctic troposphere in spring, at least in the years examined in this study. The year-to-year variations in BC mass con- centrations were also observed at the surface at high Arctic sites Ny-Ålesund and Utqiag ̇vik (formerly known as Barrow, the location of Barrow Atmospheric Baseline Observatory), although their magnitudes were slightly lower than those in COLBC . Numerical model simulations in general successfully re- produced the observed COLBC values for PAMARCMiP and HIPPO3 (within a factor of 2), whereas they markedly un- derestimated the values for ARCTAS-A and NETCARE by factors of 3.7–5.8 and 3.3–5.0, respectively. Because anthro- pogenic contributions account for nearly all of the COLBC (82 %–98 %) in PAMARCMiP and HIPPO3, the good agree- ment between the observations and calculations for these two experiments suggests that anthropogenic contributions were generally well reproduced. However, the significant underes- timations of COLBC for ARCTAS-A and NETCARE suggest that biomass burning contributions were underestimated. In this study, we also investigated plumes with enhanced BC mass concentrations, which were affected by biomass burn- ing emissions, observed at 5 km altitude. Interestingly, the mass-averaged diameter of BC (core) and the shell-to-core diameter ratio of BC-containing particles in the plumes were generally not very different from those in other air samples, which were considered to be mostly aged anthropogenic BC. These observations provide a useful basis to evaluate numer- ical model simulations of the BC radiative effect in the Arctic region in spring.

Item Type
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
Publication Status
Eprint ID
DOI 10.5194/acp-21-15861-2021

Cite as
Ohata, S. , Koike, M. , Yoshida, A. , Moteki, N. , Adachi, K. , Oshima, N. , Matsui, H. , Eppers, O. , Bozem, H. , Zanatta, M. and Herber, A. (2021): Arctic black carbon during PAMARCMiP 2018 and previous aircraft experiments in spring , Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21 , pp. 15861-15881 . doi: 10.5194/acp-21-15861-2021

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Research Platforms

POLAR 5 > P5_210_PAMARCMIP_2018

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