Black carbon record based on a shallow Himalayan ice core and its climatic implications
1Institute of Climate System, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081 China
2State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
3Laboratoire des Sciences du climat et de l'Environnement, Gif-sur-Yvette 91198, France
4Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
Abstract. A continuous measurement for black carbon conducted on a shallow ice core extracted from the East Rongbuk glacier beside Mt. Qomolangma recovers the first historical record of black carbon 13 deposition in the past ~50 years in the high Asian cryosphere. Fast increasing trend of BC concentration is revealed since the mid-1990s. Backward air trajectory analysis indicates that South Asia's emission has significant impacts on the BC deposition in the East Rongbuk glacier. The estimated atmospheric BC concentration over the East Rongbuk glacier is about 80 ngC m−3. This suggests black carbon from South Asia's emission might penetrate into the Tibetan Plateau by 18 climbing over the elevated Himalayas. Considering the consequent extra solar radiative absorption over the glacier, it is suggested that this amplitude of BC concentration in the atmosphere over the Himalayas could not be neglected when assessing the warming effect on the surface of the glaciers on the Himalayas.