Observed and modeled black carbon deposition and sources in the Western Russian Arctic 1800-2014

Meri Ruppel, Sabine Eckhardt, Antto Pesonen, Kenichiro Mizohata, Markku Oinonen, Andreas Stohl, August Andersson, Vivienne Jones, Sirkku Manninen, Örjan Gustafsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Black carbon (BC) particles contribute to climate warming by heating the atmosphere and reducing the albedo of snow/ice surfaces. The available Arctic BC deposition records are restricted to the Atlantic and North American sectors, for which previous studies suggest considerable spatial differences in trends. Here, we present first long-term BC deposition and radiocarbon-based source apportionment data from Russia using four lake sediment records from western Arctic Russia, a region influenced by BC emissions from oil and gas production. The records consistently indicate increasing BC fluxes between 1800 and 2014. The radiocarbon analyses suggest mainly (similar to 70%) biomass sources for BC with fossil fuel contributions peaking around 1960-1990. Backward calculations with the atmospheric transport model FLEXPART show emission source areas and indicate that modeled BC deposition between 1900 and 1999 is largely driven by emission trends. Comparison of observed and modeled data suggests the need to update anthropogenic BC emission inventories for Russia, as these seem to underestimate Russian BC emissions and since 1980s potentially inaccurately portray their trend. Additionally, the observations may indicate underestimation of wildfire emissions in inventories. Reliable information on BC deposition trends and sources is essential for design of efficient and effective policies to limit climate warming.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)4368−4377
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1172 Environmental sciences
  • geological materials
  • Lipids
  • Fluxes
  • carbon 14
  • deposition

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