IARPC Webinar Available - Black Carbon Webinar II
Current Science Questions and Activities Related to Arctic Black Carbon
Atmosphere Collaboration Team
Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee
Webinar: Friday, 18 April 2014 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. EDT
For further information, please go to:
The Atmosphere Collaboration Team of the Interagency Arctic Research
Policy Committee (IARPC) is hosting the second of two webinars on black
carbon, which are open to the community. The second webinar, entitled
"Current Science Questions and Activities Related to Arctic Black
Carbon" will be held Friday, 18 April 2014 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. EDT.
The intent of the second webinar is to share information about current
science questions and activities related to Arctic black carbon. Experts
will be on hand to share information and answer questions in an effort
to inform the Atmosphere Collaboration Team of IARPC of possible future
interagency activities related to Arctic black carbon.
To join the webinar online and from mobile devices, please go to:
- Meeting Number: 741 225 454
- Meeting Password: carbon
- If requested, enter your name and email address and click "Join."
- If password is required, please enter the meeting password: carbon.
To join the teleconference only, please use:
- Dial in Number: 1-866-242-0349
- Passcode: 2728
Webinar topics and speakers:
- In-situ ground sensing: Patricia Quinn, NOAA;
- Satellite remote sensing: Ralph Kahn, NASA; and
- Transport modeling: Mark Jacobson, Stanford.
Black carbon is "the second most important human emission in terms of
its climate-forcing in the present-day atmosphere; only carbon dioxide
is estimated to have a greater forcing." When BC is deposited on snow
and ice, it darkens an otherwise bright surface. The darker surface may
enhance the absorption of solar radiation resulting in an acceleration
of snow and ice melting. In addition, BC particles suspended in the
atmosphere absorb solar radiation and heat the surrounding air.
Atmospheric BC can also alter cloud properties leading to changes in
cloud amount and precipitation. Black carbon has multiple sources
including domestic combustion for heating and cooking, diesel combustion
related to transportation, fossil fuel and biofuel combustion for power
generation, agricultural burning, and wildfires. Identification of the
sources and types of black carbon (both the geographical region of the
source and the combustion process) is necessary for effectively
mitigating its climate impacts. In addition, measurements of black
carbon are required to verify whether implemented mitigation strategies
that target BC emissions from certain sources are actually leading to
reductions in BC concentrations in the Arctic atmosphere and surface. In
2013, NOAA's Arctic Report Card added a black carbon assessment to the
Atmosphere Section. The primary conclusions of the assessment are that
(1) the average equivalent black carbon concentrations in 2012 at
locations Alert, Nunavut, Canada; Barrow, Alaska, USA; and Ny-Alesund,
Svalbard, Norway; were similar to average EBC concentrations during the
last decade and (2) equivalent black carbon has declined by as much as
55% during the 23 year record at Alert and Barrow (Sharma et al. 2013).
Several issues are currently challenging the Arctic black carbon
- In-situ measurements are the most reliable measure of black carbon;
however, the most prevalent techniques which involve filter samplers
only make proxy black carbon measurements.
- Retrievals of aerosols optical depth (AOD) over snow and ice-covered
surfaces with passive remote sensing from vis-NIR imagers from space are
problematic. Some success over incomplete snow-covered surfaces has been
achieved, e.g., with MISR. TOMS, OMI, and probably now OMPS UV passive
imaging has some qualitative sensitivity (the Aerosol Index), though
with limited sensitivity to near-surface aerosol, and CALIPSO lidar is
by far the most sensitive, but with limited coverage.
- Standardized ground-based networks such as AeroNET, MPLNet, and BSRN
have sparse and sporadic Arctic coverage, and are uncoordinated with the
necessary black carbon-in-snow measurements, and some long-standing
surface stations have actually been decommissioned in the past few years.
- A promising approach to assessing high-latitude aerosol effects is to
constrain aerosol transport models with satellite observations taken at
lower latitudes, near the aerosol sources (mainly Boreal fires and
pollution sites) where and when the surface is not snow-covered.
For further information, please go to:
ArcticInfo is administered by the Arctic Research Consortium of the
United States (ARCUS). Please visit us on the World Wide Web at:
At any time you may:
Subscribe or unsubscribe by using the web form located at:
To be removed from the list at any time send an email to:
To resubscribe send an email to:
Subscribers to ArcticInfo will automatically receive the newsletter,
Witness the Arctic.If you would prefer not to receive Witness the Arctic,
specify on the web form.
Subscribe and unsubscribe actions are automatic. Barring mail system
failure you should receive responses from our system as confirmation to
If you have information you would like to post to the mailing list send
the message to:
You can search back issues of ArcticInfo by content or date at:
If you have any questions please contact the list administrator at:
3535 College Road, Suite 101
Fairbanks, AK 99709-3710
ArcticInfo is funded by the National Science Foundation as a service to
the research community through Cooperative Agreement ARC-0618885 with
ARCUS. Any information, opinions, findings, and conclusions or
recommendations expressed in this material are those of the information
sources and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science
Foundation or ARCUS.