613 Seminar: Maria Sand

Visiting Researcher, NASA/GISS

Over recent decades temperatures in the Arctic have increased at twice the global rate, largely as a result of ice–albedo and temperature feedbacks. Although deep cuts in global CO2 emissions are required to slow this warming, there is also growing interest in the potential for reducing short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs), such as black carbon aerosols. In this seminar I will talk about the transport of black carbon and co-emitted species to the Arctic and their climate impact in the region. How can we estimate the potential warming from black carbon in an area with large natural variability? And how well do models simulate the transport of black carbon and co-emitted species to the Arctic? I will present a study that quantifies the Arctic climate impact of regional SLCFs emissions, taking into account black carbon, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, organic carbon and tropospheric ozone, and their transport processes and transformations in the atmosphere. Six main sectors that account for nearly all of these emissions are included: domestic, energy/industry/waste, transport, agricultural fires, grass/forest fires, and gas flaring. We find that the largest Arctic warming source is from emissions within the Asian nations owing to the large absolute amount of emissions. However, the Arctic is most sensitive, per unit mass emitted, to SLCFs emissions from a small number of activities within the Arctic nations themselves.