05 Jan 2022

05 Jan 2022

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Contrasting source contributions of Arctic black carbon to atmospheric concentrations, deposition flux, and atmospheric and snow radiative effects

Hitoshi Matsui1, Tatsuhiro Mori2, Sho Ohata3,4, Nobuhiro Moteki2, Naga Oshima5, Kumiko Goto-Azuma6,7, Makoto Koike2, and Yutaka Kondo6 Hitoshi Matsui et al.
  • 1Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
  • 2Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • 3Institute for Space–Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
  • 4Institute for Advanced Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
  • 5Meteorological Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 6National Institute of Polar Research, Tachikawa, Japan
  • 7The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Hayama, Japan

Abstract. Black carbon (BC) particles in the Arctic contribute to rapid warming of the Arctic by heating the atmosphere and snow and ice surfaces. Understanding the source contributions to Arctic BC is therefore important, but they are not well understood, especially those for atmospheric and snow radiative effects. Here we estimate simultaneously the source contributions of Arctic BC to near-surface and vertically integrated atmospheric BC mass concentrations (MBC_SRF and MBC_COL), BC deposition flux (MBC_DEP), and BC radiative effects at the top of the atmosphere and snow surface (REBC_TOA and REBC_SNOW), and show that the source contributions to these five variables are highly different. In our estimates, Siberia makes the largest contribution to MBC_SRF, MBC_DEP, and REBC_SNOW in the Arctic (defined as > 70° N), accounting for 70 %, 53 %, and 43 %, respectively. In contrast, Asia’s contributions to MBC_COL and REBC_TOA are largest, accounting for 38 % and 45 %, respectively. In addition, the contributions of biomass burning sources are larger (24−34 %) to MBC_DEP, REBC_TOA, and REBC_SNOW, which are highest from late spring to summer, and smaller (4.2−14 %) to MBC_SRF and MBC_COL, whose concentrations are highest from winter to spring. These differences in source contributions to these five variables are due to seasonal variations in BC emission, transport, and removal processes and solar radiation, as well as to differences in radiative effect efficiency (radiative effect per unit BC mass) among sources. Radiative effect efficiency varies by a factor of up to 4 among sources (1465−5439 W g–1) depending on lifetimes, mixing states, and heights of BC and seasonal variations of emissions and solar radiation. As a result, source contributions to radiative effects and mass concentrations (i.e., REBC_TOA and MBC_COL, respectively) are substantially different. The results of this study demonstrate the importance of considering differences in the source contributions of Arctic BC among mass concentrations, deposition, and atmospheric and snow radiative effects for accurate understanding of Arctic BC and its climate impacts.

Hitoshi Matsui et al.

Status: open (until 16 Feb 2022)

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Hitoshi Matsui et al.

Hitoshi Matsui et al.


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Short summary
Using a global aerosol model, we find that the source contributions to radiative effects of black carbon (BC) in the Arctic are quite different from those to mass concentrations and deposition flux of BC in the Arctic. This is because microphysical properties (e.g., mixing state), altitudes, and seasonal variations of BC in the atmosphere differ among emissions sources. These differences need to be considered for accurate simulations of Arctic BC and its source contributions and climate impacts.