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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-3
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-3
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 05 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 05 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Source attribution of Arctic aerosols and associated Arctic warming trend during 1980–2018

Lili Ren1, Yang Yang1, Hailong Wang2, Rudong Zhang2, Pinya Wang1, and Hong Liao1 Lili Ren et al.
  • 1Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control, Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
  • 2Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, USA

Abstract. Observations show that the concentrations of Arctic sulfate and black carbon (BC) aerosols have declined since the early 1980s, which potentially contributed to the recent rapid Arctic warming. In this study, a global aerosol-climate model equipped with an Explicit Aerosol Source Tagging (CAM5-EAST) is applied to quantify the source apportionment of aerosols in the Arctic from sixteen source regions and the role of aerosol variations in the Arctic surface temperature change over the past four decades (1980–2018). The CAM5-EAST simulated surface concentrations of sulfate and BC in the Arctic had a decrease of 43 % and 23 %, respectively, in 2014–2018 relative to 1980–1984, mainly due to the reduction of emissions from Europe, Russia and Arctic local sources. Increases in emissions from South and East Asia led to positive trends of Arctic sulfate and BC in the upper troposphere. Changes in radiative forcing of sulfate and BC through aerosol-radiation interactions are found to exert a +0.145 K Arctic surface warming during 2014–2018 with respect to 1980–1984, with the largest contribution (61 %) by sulfate decrease, especially originating from the mid-latitude regions. The changes in atmospheric BC outside the Arctic produced an Arctic warming of +0.062 K, partially offset by −0.005 K of cooling due to atmospheric BC within the Arctic and −0.041 K related to the weakened snow/ice albedo effect of BC. Through aerosol-cloud interactions, the sulfate reduction gave an Arctic warming of +0.193 K between the first and last five years of 1980–2018, the majority of which is due to the mid-latitude emission change. Our results suggest that changes in aerosols over the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere have a larger impact on Arctic temperature than other regions associated with enhanced poleward heat transport from the aerosol-induced stronger meridional temperature gradient. The combined aerosol effects of sulfate and BC together produce an Arctic surface warming of +0.297 K during 1980–2018, explaining approximately 20 % of the observed Arctic warming during the same time period.

Lili Ren et al.

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Lili Ren et al.

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Short summary
Observations show that the Arctic sulfate and black carbon aerosols have declined since the early 1980s, which potentially contributed to the recent rapid Arctic warming. We found that changes in aerosols over the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere had a larger impact on Arctic temperature than other regions and the aerosol-induced temperature change explained approximately 20 % of the observed Arctic warming during 1980–2018.
Observations show that the Arctic sulfate and black carbon aerosols have declined since the...
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