Vertical profiles of aerosol and black carbon in the Arctic: a seasonal phenomenology along 2 years (2011–2012) of field campaigns
Abstract. We present results from a systematic study of vertical profiles of aerosol number size distribution and black carbon (BC) concentrations conducted in the Arctic, over Ny-Ålesund (Svalbard). The campaign lasted 2 years (2011–2012) and resulted in 200 vertical profiles measured by means of a tethered balloon (up to 1200 m a.g.l.) during the spring and summer seasons. In addition, chemical analysis of filter samples, aerosol size distribution and a full set of meteorological parameters were determined at ground. The collected experimental data allowed a classification of the vertical profiles into different typologies, which allowed us to describe the seasonal phenomenology of vertical aerosol properties in the Arctic.
During spring, four main types of profiles were found and their behavior was related to the main aerosol and atmospheric dynamics occurring at the measuring site. Background conditions generated homogenous profiles. Transport events caused an increase of aerosol concentration with altitude. High Arctic haze pollution trapped below thermal inversions promoted a decrease of aerosol concentration with altitude. Finally, ground-based plumes of locally formed secondary aerosol determined profiles with decreasing aerosol concentration located at different altitude as a function of size.
During the summer season, the impact from shipping caused aerosol and BC pollution plumes to be constrained close to the ground, indicating that increasing shipping emissions in the Arctic could bring anthropogenic aerosol and BC in the Arctic summer, affecting the climate.