An overview of black carbon deposition and its radiative forcing over the Arctic

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This paper gives an overview of the current understanding of the observations of black carbon (BC) in snow and ice, and the estimates of BC deposition and its radiative forcing over the Arctic. Both of the observations and model results show that, in spring, the average BC concentration and the resulting radiative forcing in Russian Arctic > Canadian and Alaskan Arctic > Arctic Ocean and Greenland. The observed BC concentration presented a significant decrease trend from the Arctic coastal regions to the center of Arctic Ocean. In summer, due to the combined effects of BC accumulation and enlarged snow grain size, the averaged radiative forcing per unit area over the Arctic Ocean is larger than that over each sector of the Arctic in spring. However, because summer sea ice is always covered by a large fraction of melt ponds, the role of BC in sea ice albedo evolution during this period is secondary. Multi-model mean results indicate that the annual mean radiative forcing from all sources of BC in snow and ice over the Arctic was ∼0.17 W m−2. Wet deposition is the dominant removal mechanism in the Arctic, which accounts for more than 90% of the total deposition. In the last part, we discuss the uncertainties in present modeling studies, and suggest potential approaches to reduce the uncertainties.




Dou, T. F., & Xiao, C. D. (2016, September 1). An overview of black carbon deposition and its radiative forcing over the Arctic. Advances in Climate Change Research. National Climate Center.

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