The new study, published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics by researchers at IIASA and in Norway, Finland, and Russia, finds that gas flaring from oil extraction in the Arctic accounts for 42% of the black carbon concentrations in the Arctic, with even higher levels during certain times of the year.
This map shows the surface concentrations of black carbon, from all emission sources, as simulated by the new study. The study shows that residential combustion emissions and gas flaring emissions are higher than previous studies had estimated.
In the month of March for example, the study showed that flaring accounts for more than half of black carbon concentrations near the surface. Globally, in contrast, gas flaring accounts for only 3% of black carbon emissions.
The researchers also found that residential combustion emissions play a greater role in black carbon pollution than previously estimated, after they incorporated seasonal differences in emissions into the model.
To conduct the study, researchers used particle dispersion model FLEXPART driven by emissions estimated with the IIASA’s GAINS model, combined with measurements of black carbon in the Arctic, made during a research cruise in the Arctic Ocean and research stations located at 6 sites in Alaska, Canada, Finland, Norway, and Greenland.
In the new study, the researchers for the first time included temporal distribution of black carbon emissions from residential combustion. “Understanding how much is emitted when during the year is something that has to be included better in our regional models,” says IIASA researcher Zbigniew Klimont, who worked on the study. It also incorporated detailed regional data on the location of gas flaring emissions, improving upon previous estimates that either ignored them entirely or used only regional averages. These improved emission estimates and their temporal resolution allows for a better reproduction of seasonal variability in observed black carbon concentrations.
“We are seeing more and more oil being extracted further and further north. And the proximity of emissions from gas flaring matters,” says Klimont. Black carbon, or soot, contributes to warming in the Arctic by darkening the surface of snow or ice and causing it to melt faster, or absorbing more heat in the air.
The warming effect of black carbon on ice and snow has been suggested as one factor contributing to the relatively fast warming of the Arctic compared to the rest of the world. Arctic sea ice has declined faster than climate models predict, hitting new record lows in 2007 and 2012.Reference
Katherine Leitzell | EurekAlert!
From the Arctic to the tropics: researchers present a unique database on Earth’s vegetation
20.11.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Fading stripes in Southeast Asia: First insight into the ecology of an elusive and threatened rabbit
20.11.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.
Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy