EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Experimental black and brown carbon heating rate and from mid-latitudes to the Arctic along two years (2018-2019) of research cruises: the energy gradient for the Arctic Amplification

Luca Ferrero1, Niccolò Losi1, Alessandra Bigogno1, Asta Gregoric2, Martin Rigler2, Griša Močnik3, Piotr Markuszewski4, Przemysław Makuch4, Paulina Pakszys4, Tomasz Petelski4, Tymon Zielinski4, and Ezio Bolzacchini1
Luca Ferrero et al.
  • 1University of Milano-Bicocca, GEMMA Center, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Piazza della Scienza 1, 20126, Milano, Italy (
  • 2Aerosol d.o.o., Kamniška 41, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 3Department of Condensed Matter Physics, Jozef Stefan Institute, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 4IOPAN, Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 81-712 Sopot, Poland

Black carbon (BC) and Brown Carbon (BrC) absorbs sunlight and heat the atmosphere. The heating rate (HR) can be determined from the divergence of the net radiative flux with altitude (vertical profiles) or from the modelling activity; however, it determination is, up to now, too sparse, does not account for light-absorbing-aerosol (LAA) speciation and for the influence of different cloudy sky conditions on the BC induced heating rate (HR) in the atmospheric layer below clouds. This work applies a new method (Ferrero et al., 2018) to experimentally determine (at high time resolution) the HR induced by the LAA from mid-latidudes to the Arctic along two years (2018-2019, June-August) of oceanographic cruises moving from 54°N to 81°N and from 2°W to 25°E.

The HR was experimentally determined at high time resolution and apportioned in the context of LAA species (BC, BrC), and sources (fossil fuel, FF; biomass burning, BB) as reported in Ferrero et al. (2018) equipping the Oceania vessel of the Polish Academy of Science  with the following instrumentation:

1) Aethalometer (AE-33, Magee Scientific, 7-λ), 2) Multiplexer-Radiometer-Irradiometer ROX (diffuse, direct and reflected radiance: 350-1000 nm, 1 nm resolution), 3) a SPN1 radiometer (global and diffuse radiation), 4) High volume sampler (TSP ECHO-PUF Tecora). Samples were analysed for ions (Dionex IC) and by EC/OC by using DRI Model 2015 Multi-Wavelength Thermal/Optical Carbon Analyzer. Radiometers were compensated for the ship pitch and roll by an automatic gimbal. AE33 absorption coefficient accuracy was determined through comparison with a MAAP (Thermo-Fischer).

The HR showed a clear latitudinal behavior with higher values in the harbor of Gdansk (0.29±0.01 K/day) followed by the Baltic Sea (0.04±0.01 K/day), the Norvegian Sea (0.01±0.01 K/day) and finally with the lowest values in the pure Arctic Ocean (0.003±0.001 K/day).

They followed the decrease of both BC concentrations and global radiation from 1189±21 ng/m3  and 230±6 W/m2 (Gdansk) to 27±1 ng/m3 and 111±3 W/m2 (Arctic Ocean). The latitunal gradient of the HR clearly demonstrate that the warming of the Arctic could be influenced by a heat transport. In this respect, the LAA added about 300 J/m3 at mid-latitudes and only 3 J/m3 close to the North Pole. Moreover, above the Arctic circle, 70% of the HR was due to the diffuse radiation induced by cloud presence, a condition that climate models in clear-sky assumption cannot capture. In addition, in the Arctic the BrC experienced an increase of 60% in determining the HR compared to mid-latitudes.

Acknowledgements: GEMMA Center - Project MIUR – Dipartimenti di Eccellenza 2018–2022.

Reference: Ferrero, L., et al (2018) Environ. Sci Tech., 52, 3546−3555

How to cite: Ferrero, L., Losi, N., Bigogno, A., Gregoric, A., Rigler, M., Močnik, G., Markuszewski, P., Makuch, P., Pakszys, P., Petelski, T., Zielinski, T., and Bolzacchini, E.: Experimental black and brown carbon heating rate and from mid-latitudes to the Arctic along two years (2018-2019) of research cruises: the energy gradient for the Arctic Amplification, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18233,, 2020