26 Oct 2023
 | 26 Oct 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Measurement report: Shipborne observations of black carbon aerosols in the western Arctic Ocean during summer and autumn 2016–2020: boreal fire impacts

Yange Deng, Hiroshi Tanimoto, Kohei Ikeda, Sohiko Kameyama, Sachiko Okamoto, Jinyoung Jung, Young Jun Yoon, Eun Jin Yang, and Sung-Ho Kang

Abstract. Black carbon (BC) aerosol is considered one of the important contributors to the fast climate warming and snow and sea ice melting in the Arctic. Yet the observations of BC in the Arctic Ocean have been limited due to infrastructural and logistical difficulties. We observed BC mass concentrations (mBC) using light absorption methods on board the icebreaker R/V Araon in the Arctic Ocean (166° E–156° W and <80° N) as well as the North Pacific Ocean in summer and early Autumn of 2016 to 2020. The levels, interannual variations and pollution episodes of mBC in the Arctic were examined, and the emission sources responsible for the high-BC episodes were analyzed with global chemistry-transport model simulations. The average mBC in the surface air over the Arctic Ocean (72–80° N) observed in 2019 was over 70 ng m–3, which was substantially higher than in other years (approximately 10 ng m–3). The much higher mBC observed in 2019 was perhaps due to more frequent wildfires occurred in the Arctic region than in other years. The model suggested that biomass burning composed the largest contribution to the observed BC in the western Arctic Ocean and the marginal seas. For these five years, we identified 10 elevated-BC episodes, including one in 2018 that was associated with co-enhancements of CO and CH4 but not CO2 and O3. The model analysis indicated that most episodes were attributed to the airmasses transported from boreal fires to the Arctic Ocean, with some near-surface and others in the mid-troposphere. This study provides crucial datasets on BC mass concentrations and the mixing ratios of O3, CH4, CO, and CO2 in the western Arctic Ocean regions and highlights the significant impact of boreal fires on the observed Arctic BC during the summer and early autumn months.

Yange Deng et al.

Status: open (until 07 Dec 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2315', Olga Popovicheva, 28 Oct 2023 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Yange Deng, 02 Nov 2023 reply
    • AC2: 'Reply on CC1', Yange Deng, 24 Nov 2023 reply
  • RC1: 'Review of egusphere-2023-2315', Anonymous Referee #1, 20 Nov 2023 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2315', Anonymous Referee #2, 22 Nov 2023 reply
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2315', Anonymous Referee #3, 23 Nov 2023 reply

Yange Deng et al.

Data sets

Shipborne Observations of Surface Black Carbon Aerosol Mass Concentrations and Ozone/Methane/Carbon Monoxide/Carbon Dioxide Mixing Ratios in the Arctic Atmosphere Yange Deng, Sohiko Kameyama, Hiroshi Tanimoto, Jinyoung Jung

Yange Deng et al.


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Short summary
Black carbon aerosols (BC) play important roles in Arctic climate change, yet they are not well understood because of limited observational facts. We observed BC mass concentrations (mBC) in the Western Arctic Ocean during summer and early autumn 2016–2020. The mean mBC in 2019 was much higher than in other years. Biomass burning was likely the dominant BC source. Boreal fire BC transport occurring near the surface and/or in the mid-troposphere contributed to high BC events in the Arctic Ocean.