28 Apr 2021

28 Apr 2021

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

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

Sho Ohata1,2,, Makoto Koike3,, Atsushi Yoshida3,4, Nobuhiro Moteki3, Kouji Adachi5, Naga Oshima5, Hitoshi Matsui6, Oliver Eppers7,8, Heiko Bozem7, Marco Zanatta9,10, and Andreas B. Herber9 Sho Ohata et al.
  • 1Institute for Space–Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
  • 2Institute for Advanced Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
  • 3Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • 4National Institute of Polar Research, Tokyo, Japan
  • 5Meteorological Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 6Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
  • 7Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Mainz, Germany
  • 8Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Particle Chemistry Department, Mainz, Germany
  • 9Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 10LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris-Est-Créteil, IPSL, Créteil, France
  • These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. Vertical profiles of the mass concentration of black carbon (BC) were measured at altitudes up to 5 km during the PAMARCMiP aircraft-based field experiment conducted around the Northern Greenland Sea (Fram Strait) during March and April 2018, with 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 altitudes below 4.5 km. These concentrations were systematically 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. Column 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 experiment. 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 high latitudes over western and eastern Eurasia. Furthermore, numerical model simulations estimated the year-to-year variation of contributions 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 concentrations were also observed at the surface at high Arctic sites Ny-Ålesund and Barrow, although their magnitudes were slightly lower than those in COLBC.

Numerical model simulations in general successfully reproduced the observed COLBC values for PAMARCMiP and HIPPO3 (within a factor of 2), whereas they markedly underestimated the values for ARCTAS-A and NETCARE by factors of 3.7–5.8 and 3.3–5.0, respectively. Because anthropogenic contributions account for nearly all of the COLBC (82–98 %) in PAMARCMiP and HIPPO3, the good agreements between the observations and calculations for these two experiments suggest that anthropogenic contributions were generally well reproduced. However, the significant underestimations 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 burning 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 sampled, which were considered to be mostly aged anthropogenic BC. These observations provide useful bases to evaluate numerical model simulations of the BC radiative effect in the Arctic region in spring.

Sho Ohata et al.

Status: open (until 23 Jun 2021)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-349', Anonymous Referee #1, 05 May 2021 reply

Sho Ohata et al.

Sho Ohata et al.


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Short summary
Vertical profiles of black carbon (BC) in the Arctic were measured during the PAMARCMiP aircraft-based experiment in spring 2018 and compared with those observed during previous aircraft campaigns in 2008, 2010, and 2015. Their differences were explained primarily by the year-to-year variation of biomass burning activities in northern high latitudes over Eurasia. Our observations provide bases to evaluate numerical model simulations that assess the BC radiative effects in the Arctic spring.