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Distribution of black carbon in Northern Europe and the Arctic, and relations with climate forcing and air quality

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Title: Distribution of black carbon in Northern Europe and the Arctic, and relations with climate forcing and air quality
Author(s): Gaire, Surakshya
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2016
The objective of this master s thesis was to better understand the impact of black carbon and its distribution in Northern Europe and the Arctic. To achieve the goal of the project, information on the observations relevant to black carbon (BC) pollution in Arctic dataset was collected. For the observational data all main BC measurement campaigns along with active satellite operations were collected. In this study, the BC concentration and deposition was estimated by the System Integrated Modelling of Atmospheric coMposition - a chemical transport model (CTM) SILAM. The model was driven with monitoring atmospheric composition and climate (MACCity), emission database for global atmospheric research hemispheric transport of air pollution (EDGAR-HTAP), and evaluating the climate and air quality impacts of short lived pollutants (ECLIPSE) emission inventories. For the computations, the year 2010 was chosen because of a better availability of data during that year. In the literature section, black carbon process in the atmosphere is explained along with its properties and characteristics. Furthermore, data description and data analysis is included which is followed by interpretation of model output on the seasonal deposition and concentration. As shown by the model-measurement comparison, the model basically captured the measured BC and organic carbon (OC) quite well for all emission inventories. However, the correlation coefficient for OC was still weak for most of the stations in Europe. The overall performance of BC for European stations is substantially better than in the Arctic areas. Deposition for BC and OC shows that the seasonal transport of BC from source regions is evident in the Arctic and near Arctic areas. Patterns of dry deposition is higher in winter period than in summer period. The SILAM model suggests winter period concentration of BC by MACCity and ECLIPSE inventory of 0.23 µg/m3 and 0.26 µg/m3 respectively for year 2010. This study provides a best performing setup for BC modeling , transport and deposition of BC in the Northern Europe and the Arctic despite the absence of ageing process. More observational data from Arctic stations would provide better result and model performance. Finally, the study gives an insight of the quality of existing emission inventories and the capabilities of reproducing seasonal deposition and concentration of BC to the Arctic.

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