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Atmosphere 2015, 6(3), 318-340; doi:10.3390/atmos6030318

A Modelling Study of the Impact of On-Road Diesel Emissions on Arctic Black Carbon and Solar Radiation Transfer

Department of Physical and Chemical Sciences, Università degli Studi dell’Aquila, Via Vetoio, Coppito, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy
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Academic Editor: Ivar S.A. Isaksen
Received: 29 December 2014 / Revised: 19 February 2015 / Accepted: 3 March 2015 / Published: 12 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate-Chemistry Interactions)
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Abstract

Market strategies have greatly incentivized the use of diesel engines for land transportation. These engines are responsible for a large fraction of black carbon (BC) emissions in the extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere, with significant effects on both air quality and global climate. In addition to direct radiative forcing, planetary-scale transport of BC to the Arctic region may significantly impact the surface albedo of this region through wet and dry deposition on ice and snow. A sensitivity study is made with the University of L’Aquila climate-chemistry-aerosol model by eliminating on-road diesel emissions of BC (which represent approximately 50% of BC emissions from land transportation). According to the model and using emission scenarios for the year 2000, this would imply an average change in tropopause direct radiative forcing (RF) of −0.054 W∙m−2 (globally) and −0.074 W∙m−2 over the Arctic region, with a peak of −0.22 W∙m−2 during Arctic springtime months. These RF values increase to −0.064, −0.16 and −0.50 W∙m−2, respectively, when also taking into account the BC snow-albedo forcing. The calculated BC optical thickness decrease (at λ = 0.55 µm) is 0.48 × 10−3 (globally) and 0.74 × 10−3 over the Arctic (i.e., 10.5% and 16.5%, respectively), with a peak of 1.3 × 10−3 during the Arctic springtime. View Full-Text
Keywords: black carbon aerosols; global-scale aerosol model; large-scale atmospheric transport; radiative forcing; snow-albedo forcing black carbon aerosols; global-scale aerosol model; large-scale atmospheric transport; radiative forcing; snow-albedo forcing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pitari, G.; Di Genova, G.; De Luca, N. A Modelling Study of the Impact of On-Road Diesel Emissions on Arctic Black Carbon and Solar Radiation Transfer. Atmosphere 2015, 6, 318-340.

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