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Open AccessArticle

Study of Chemical and Optical Properties of Biomass Burning Aerosols during Long-Range Transport Events toward the Arctic in Summer 2017

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Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences, 81-712 Sopot, Poland
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GEMMA and POLARIS Research Centre, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, 20126 Milan, Italy
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AWI - Alfred Wegener Institute, Institute for Polar and Marine Research, 14401 Potsdam, Germany
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NILU – Norwegian Institute for Air Research, 2027 Kjeller, Norway
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Grupo de Óptica Atmosférica, Universidad de Valladolid, 47002 Valladolid, Spain
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CNR–ISP, National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Polar Sciences, via Gobetti 14 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
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Institute of Geophysics Polish Academy of Sciences, 01-452 Warsaw, Poland
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Department of Chemistry “Ugo Schiff”, University of Florence, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(1), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11010084
Received: 10 November 2019 / Revised: 30 December 2019 / Accepted: 5 January 2020 / Published: 10 January 2020
Biomass burning related aerosol episodes are becoming a serious threat to the radiative balance of the Arctic region. Since early July 2017 intense wildfires were recorded between August and September in Canada and Greenland, covering an area up to 4674 km2 in size. This paper describes the impact of these biomass burning (BB) events measured over Svalbard, using an ensemble of ground-based, columnar, and vertically-resolved techniques. BB influenced the aerosol chemistry via nitrates and oxalates, which exhibited an increase in their concentrations in all of size fractions, indicating the BB origin of particles. The absorption coefficient data (530 nm) at ground reached values up to 0.6 Mm–1, highlighting the impact of these BB events when compared to average Arctic background values, which do not exceed 0.05 Mm–1. The absorption behavior is fundamental as implies a subsequent atmospheric heating. At the same time, the AERONET Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) data showed high values at stations located close to or in Canada (AOD over 2.0). Similarly, increased values of AODs were then observed in Svalbard, e.g., in Hornsund (daily average AODs exceeded 0.14 and reached hourly values up to 0.5). Elevated values of AODs were then registered in Sodankylä and Andenes (daily average AODs exceeding 0.150) a few days after the Svalbard observation of the event highlighting the BB columnar magnitude, which is crucial for the radiative impact. All the reported data suggest to rank the summer 2017 plume of aerosols as one of the biggest atmosphere related environmental problems over Svalbard region in last 10 years. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass burning; aerosols; long-range transport; Spitsbergen; climate; wildfires; AOD biomass burning; aerosols; long-range transport; Spitsbergen; climate; wildfires; AOD
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Zielinski, T.; Bolzacchini, E.; Cataldi, M.; Ferrero, L.; Graßl, S.; Hansen, G.; Mateos, D.; Mazzola, M.; Neuber, R.; Pakszys, P.; Posyniak, M.; Ritter, C.; Severi, M.; Sobolewski, P.; Traversi, R.; Velasco-Merino, C. Study of Chemical and Optical Properties of Biomass Burning Aerosols during Long-Range Transport Events toward the Arctic in Summer 2017. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 84.

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