Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/acp-2016-1007
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
22 Dec 2016
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Impacts of large-scale atmospheric circulation changes due to winter sea-ice retreat on Black Carbon transport and deposition to the Arctic
Luca Pozzoli1, Srdan Dobricic1, Simone Russo2, and Elisabetta Vignati1 1European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Directorate for Energy, Transport and Climate, Air and Climate Unit, 5 Ispra (VA), 21027, Italy
2European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Directorate for Competences, Modelling, Indicators and Impact Evaluation Unit, Ispra (VA), 21027, Italy
Abstract. Winter warming and sea ice retreat observed in the Arctic in the last decades determine changes of large scale atmospheric circulation pattern that may impact as well the transport of black carbon (BC) to the Arctic and its deposition on the sea ice, with possible feedbacks on the regional and global climate forcing. In this study we developed and applied a new statistical algorithm, based on the Maximum Likelihood Estimate approach, to determine how the changes of three large scale weather patterns (the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Scandinavian Blocking, and the El Nino-Southern Oscillation), associated with winter increasing temperatures and sea ice retreat in the Arctic, impact the transport of BC to the Arctic and its deposition. We found that the three atmospheric patterns together determine a decreasing winter deposition trend of BC between 1980 and 2015 in the Eastern Arctic while they increase BC deposition in the Western Arctic. The increasing trend is mainly due to the more frequent occurrences of stable high pressure systems (atmospheric blocking) near Scandinavia favouring the transport in the lower troposphere of BC from Europe and North Atlantic directly into to the Arctic. The North Atlantic Oscillation has a smaller impact on BC deposition in the Arctic, but determines an increasing BC atmospheric load over the entire Arctic Ocean with increasing BC concentrations in the upper troposphere. The El Nino-Southern Oscillation does not influence significantly the transport and deposition of BC to the Arctic. The results show that changes in atmospheric circulation due to polar atmospheric warming and reduced winter sea ice significantly impacted BC transport and deposition. The anthropogenic emission reductions applied in the last decades were, therefore, crucial to counterbalance the most likely trend of increasing BC pollution in the Arctic.

Citation: Pozzoli, L., Dobricic, S., Russo, S., and Vignati, E.: Impacts of large-scale atmospheric circulation changes due to winter sea-ice retreat on Black Carbon transport and deposition to the Arctic, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-1007, in review, 2016.
Luca Pozzoli et al.
Luca Pozzoli et al.
Luca Pozzoli et al.

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Short summary
We investigated how the changes in atmospheric circulation of Northern Hemisphere in winter, due to sea-ice retreat and increasing temperatures in the Arctic, may have also impacted black carbon transport and deposition to the Arctic, which may further accelerate the snow and sea-ice melting. The anthropogenic emission reductions applied in the last decades in Europe and North America were, therefore, crucial to counterbalance the most likely trend of increasing pollution in the Arctic.
We investigated how the changes in atmospheric circulation of Northern Hemisphere in winter, due...
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