Assessing Transport of PM Pollution from Europe to the Arctic

Kiesewetter, G. ORCID: (2011). Assessing Transport of PM Pollution from Europe to the Arctic. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-11-007

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Arctic pollution is a topic of high priority on the global agenda, especially due to its connection with the rapid warming the Arctic is experiencing. During recent decades, the Arctic has warmed about 1 degree Celsius per decade, which is almost double the global average warming rate. Part of the warming is due to the deposition of black carbon to the ice, which decreases the surface albedo and thus leads to melting of the ice.

This study investigates the European origins of Arctic primary fine particulate matter (PPM2.5) and black carbon aerosol (BC). Five years of monthly averaged output from the EMEP Chemical Transport Model are analyzed to calculate the source-receptor relationships of PPM2.5 from European countries to the Arctic. These source-receptor relationships are then applied to BC emissions inventories in order to investigate the relevance of different source regions of Arctic BC both for the present and for future scenarios. Russia (European part) and Norway are identified as the largest European contributors to Arctic PPM2.5 and BC, together accounting for more than 50 percent of the European PPM2.5 input to the Arctic. The relative importance of these two countries for future contributions to Arctic BC depends on the emissions scenario used. As a rather unexpected result, ship emissions from the north-east Atlantic Ocean are among the largest contributors to Arctic PPM and BC, and are predicted to rank third by 2030. On a sectoral basis, emissions from the household sector dominate over industrial and other emissions. In addition to the emissions already accounted for in the EMEP model runs, vegetation fires are shown to play a significant role.

Furthermore, the variability of Arctic PPM2.5 levels, transfer coefficients, and contributions is investigated. Large annual cycles of sectoral contributions can be observed, which are partly due to annual cycles of emissions and partly to meteorological variability. The North Atlantic Oscillation is shown to influence Arctic PPM2.5 concentrations in the sense that under highly positive NAO conditions, Arctic PPM levels are significantly enhanced by up to factors of 20 and more, as compared to highly negative NAO conditions.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: Air Quality & Greenhouse Gases (AIR)
Mitigation of Air Pollution (MAG)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:46
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:22

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