Bounding the role of aerosols on the Arctic climate with in situ observations

Novel Assessment of Black Carbon in the Eurasian Arctic (NABCEA), From Historical Concentrations and Sources to Future Climate Impacts

Contact: Aki Virkkula (


Responsible leader of consortium: Jussi Paatero (FMI)

Partner leaders: 

- Sirkku Manninen (UH)

- Jarkko Tissari (UEF)

- Kaarle Kupiainen (SYKE)


Sites of Research:

- Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI)

- University of Helsinki (UH)

During this year’s ASSW meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, the air Pollution in the Arctic: Climate, Environment and Societies(PACES) project will hold a meeting entitled “Arctic air pollution: A collaborative framework for natural and social science”.

The IASOA working group on Aerosols has summarized the Arctic black carbon science questions...

The Atmospheric Working Group of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the IGBP core project International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) are co-sponosoring a workshop this spring on Future Directions for Arctic Air Pollution Research.  Invitees will represent research conducted at the long-term Arctic surface sites, Arctic field campaigns, and the modeling community.  


IASOA black carbon experts contributed to the 2013 Arctic Report Card.

Most IASOA observatories are measuring aerosols. Some instruments, like the aethalometer, specifically target equivalent black carbon.

This presentation was given at the first IASOA Equivalent Black Carbon workshop in Vancouver, CA. It presents proposed steps forward for utilizing the historical records of aethalometer data to begin to bound the impact of Arctic Black Carbon.

Seven IASOA observatories (Alert, Barrow, Pallas, Summit, Tiksi, Station Nord and Ny-Ålesund) monitor aerosol optical properties including concentrations of absorbing equivalent black carbon.  Despite the unique and exciting analysis opportunities afforded to scientists by an Arctic-wide EBC measurement network, comparing data across stations requires caution because diverse filter-based instruments have been deployed.

This study examined the information preferences of a range of Arctic Black Carbon information stakeholders.

The IASOA Black Carbon working group is closely coordinated with the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Aerosol program.

Publication Highlights

Tomasi et al., 2014, Aerosol remote sensing in polar regions, Earth Sciences Review, [accepted], [contact author]

Petzold et al., 2013, Recommendations for the interpretation of "black carbon" measurements, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 9485-9517, doi:10.5194/acpd-13-9485-2013

Bond, T.C. et al., 2013, Bounding the role of black carbon in the climate system: A scientific assessment. J. Geophys. Res., 118, 5380-5552, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50171.

Eleftheriadis,K et al., 2009, Aerosol black carbon in the European Arctic: Measurements at Zeppelin Station, Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard from 1998-2007, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L02809, 5, doi:10.1029/2008GL035741.

Sharma et al., 2013, 16-year simulation of Arctic black carbon: transport, source contribution, and sensitivity analysis on deposition, J. Geophys. Res/, 118, 1-22.

Sharma et al., 2006, Variations and sources of the equivalent black carbon in the high Arcitc revealed by long-term observations at Alert and Barrow: 1989-2003, J. Geophys. Res., 111, D14208, doi:10.1029/2005JD006581.

Flanner, M. G. (2013), Arctic climate sensitivity to local black carbon, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 118, 1840–1851, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50176




Mike Bergin | Summit Station

Kostas Eleftheriadis | Ny-Ålesund

John Ogren | Barrow 

Sangeeta Sharma | Alert (Group Lead)

Henrik Skov | Station Nord

Andi Massling | Station Nord

Eija Asmi | Tiksi

Aki Virkkula | Pallas

Peter Turnved | Ny-Ålesund