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Long-range transport of air pollution into the Arctic

Stohl, A. and Berg, T. and Breivik, K. and Burkhardt, J.F. and Eckhardt, S. and Fjæraa, A. and Forster, C. and Herber, A. and Lunder, C. and McMillan, W.W. and Manø, S. and Oltmans, S. and Shiobara, M. and Stebel, K. and Strøm, J. and Treffeisen, R. and Tørseth, K. and Virkkunen, K. and Yttri, K.E. and Spichtinger, N. (2007) Long-range transport of air pollution into the Arctic. In: 2007 AGU Fall Meeting. 2007 AGU Fall Meeting, 2007-12-10 - 2007-12-14, San Francisco, CA (USA).

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This paper presents an overview of air pollution transport into the Arctic. The major transport processes will be highlighted, as well as their seasonal, interannual, and spatial variability. The source regions of Arctic air pollution will be discussed, with a focus on black carbon (BC) sources, as BC can produce significant radiative forcing in the Arctic. It is found that Europe is the main source region for BC in winter, whereas boreal forest fires are the strongest source in summer, especially in years of strong burning. Two case studies of recent extreme Arctic air pollution events will be presented. In summer 2004, boreal forest fires in Alaska and Canada caused pan-Arctic enhancements of black carbon. The BC concentrations measured at Barrow (Alaska), Alert (Canada), Summit (Greenland) and Zeppelin (Spitsbergen) were all episodically elevated, as a result of the long-range transport of the biomass burning emissions. Aerosol optical depth was also episodically elevated at these stations, with an almost continuous elevation over more than a month at Summit. During the second episode in spring 2006, new records were set for all measured air pollutant species at the Zeppelin station (Spitsbergen) as well as for ozone in Iceland. At Zeppelin, BC, AOD, aerosol mass, ozone, carbon monoxide and other compounds all reached new record levels, compared to the long-term monitoring record. The episode was caused by transport of polluted air masses from Eastern Europe deep into the Arctic, a consequence of the unusual warmth in the European Arctic during the episode. While fossil fuel combustion sources certainly contributed to this episode, smoke from agricultural fires in Eastern Europe was the dominant pollution component. We also suggest a new revolatilization mechanism for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) stored in soils and vegetation by fires, as POPs were strongly elevated during both episodes. All this suggests a considerable influence of biomass burning on the pollutant concentrations in the Arctic in spring and summer, even for species that are produced exclusively by humans, such as POPs.

Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Long-range transport of air pollution into the Arctic
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Stohl, A.NILU, Kjeller, N
Berg, T.Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology, Trondheim, N
Breivik, K.NILU, Kjeller, N
Burkhardt, J.F.NILU, Kjeller, N
Eckhardt, S.NILU, Kjeller, N
Fjæraa, A.NILU, Kjeller, N
Herber, A.AWI, Bremerhaven
Lunder, C.NILU, Kjeller, N
McMillan, W.W.Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore, USA
Manø, S.NILU, Kjeller, N
Oltmans, S.NOAA, Boulder, USA
Shiobara, M.National Inst. of Polar Research, Tokyo, J
Stebel, K.NILU, Kjeller, N
Strøm, J.Stockholm Univ., S
Treffeisen, R.AWI, Bremerhaven
Tørseth, K.NILU, Kjeller, N
Virkkunen, K.Univ. of Lapland, Finland
Yttri, K.E.NILU, Kjeller, N
Spichtinger, N.TU München, München
Date:25 August 2007
Journal or Publication Title:2007 AGU Fall Meeting
Keywords:Arctic air pollution, long-range transport, black carbon, POPs, Lagrangian transport modelling
Event Title:2007 AGU Fall Meeting
Event Location:San Francisco, CA (USA)
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:2007-12-10 - 2007-12-14
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:L VU - Air Traffic and Environment (old)
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L VU - Air Traffic and Environment
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Air Traffic and Weather (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Cloud Physics and Traffic Meteorology
Deposited By: Dr. Caroline Forster
Deposited On:07 Sep 2007
Last Modified:15 Jan 2010 01:40

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