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

Black Carbon and Light-absorbing impurities in the Antarctic Peninsula

Raul Cordero1, Alessandro Damiani1,2, Sarah Feron1,3, Alia Khan4, Jose Jorquera1, Edgardo Sepulveda1, Juan Carrera1, and Penny Rowe1
Raul Cordero et al.
  • 1Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Department of Physics, Santiago, Chile (
  • 2Center for Environmental Remote Sensing, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
  • 3Department of Earth System Science, Stanford University, Stanford, USA
  • 4Department of Environmental Sciences, Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA, USA

Assessing the albedo response due to light-absorbing impurities (LAI) in coastal snowpacks has become of great interest in the light of the ‘Antarctic greening’. Reductions in the albedo (triggered by a change in air temperature or by the LAI deposition) can also enhance feedback mechanisms; as the albedo drops, the fraction of absorbed solar energy increases, which leads to additional albedo drops.

Here we assess the presence of Black Carbon (BC) and LAI in coastal snowpacks in the Antarctic Peninsula. The BC-equivalent contentwas assessed by applying the meltwater filtration (MF) technique to snow samples taken at 7 locations in theAntarctic Peninsula, from latitude 62oS to latitude 67oS. BC-equivalentconcentrations exhibited significant geographical differences,but were found to be generally lower than 5 ng/g (in the range of those reported for the Arctic Ocean and Greenland). Moreover, the Angstrom coefficients were found to be particularly high at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula,likely due to the snow algae presence. After the onset of melt, red snow algae bloom, significantly affecting the surface albedo, as shown by our measurements.

How to cite: Cordero, R., Damiani, A., Feron, S., Khan, A., Jorquera, J., Sepulveda, E., Carrera, J., and Rowe, P.: Black Carbon and Light-absorbing impurities in the Antarctic Peninsula , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21231,, 2020

This abstract will not be presented.