Elemental and water-insoluble organic carbon in Svalbard snow: a synthesis of observations during 2007–2018 - Publication - MOST Wiedzy


Elemental and water-insoluble organic carbon in Svalbard snow: a synthesis of observations during 2007–2018


Light-absorbing carbonaceous aerosols emitted by biomass or fossil fuel combustion can contribute to amplifying Arctic climate warming by lowering the albedo of snow. The Svalbard archipelago, being near to Europe and Russia, is particularly affected by these pollutants, and improved knowledge of their distribution in snow is needed to assess their impact. Here we present and synthesize new data obtained on Svalbard between 2007 and 2018, comprising measurements of elemental (EC) and water-insoluble organic carbon (WIOC) in snow from 37 separate sites. We used these data, combined with meteorological data and snowpack modeling, to investigate the variability of EC and WIOC deposition in Svalbard snow across latitude, longitude, elevation and time. Overall, EC concentrations (CECsnow) ranged from <1.0 to 266.6 ng g−1, while WIOC concentrations (CWIOCsnow) ranged from <1 to 9426 ng g−1, with the highest values observed near Ny-Ålesund. Calculated snowpack loadings (LECsnow, LWIOCsnow) on glaciers surveyed in spring 2016 were 0.1 to 2.6 mg m−2 and 2 to 173 mg m−2, respectively. The median CECsnow and the LECsnow on those glaciers were close to or lower than those found in earlier (2007–2009), comparable surveys. Both LECsnow and LWIOCsnow increased with elevation and snow accumulation, with dry deposition likely playing a minor role. Estimated area-averaged snowpack loads across Svalbard were 1.1 mg EC m−2 and 38.3 mg WIOC m−2 for the 2015–2016 winter. An ∼11-year long dataset of spring surface snow measurements from the central Brøgger Peninsula was used to quantify the interannual variability of EC and WIOC deposition in snow. In most years, CECsnow and CWIOCsnow at Ny-Ålesund (50 m a.s.l.) were 2–5 times higher than on the nearby Austre Brøggerbreen glacier (456 m a.s.l.), and the median EC/WIOC in Ny-Ålesund was 6 times higher, suggesting a possible influence of local EC emission from Ny-Ålesund. While no long-term trends between 2011 and 2018 were found, CECsnow and CWIOCsnow showed synchronous variations at Ny-Ålesund and Austre Brøggerbreen. When compared with data from other circum-Arctic sites obtained by comparable methods, the median CECsnow on Svalbard falls between that found in central Greenland (lowest) and those in continental sectors of European Arctic (northern Scandinavia, Russia and Siberia; highest), which is consistent with large-scale patterns of BC in snow reported by surveys based on other methods.


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Authors (13)

  • Photo of  Christian Zdanowicz

    Christian Zdanowicz

    • Uppsala University
  • Photo of  Jean-Charles Gallet

    Jean-Charles Gallet

    • Norwegian Polar Institute
  • Photo of  Mats P. Björkman

    Mats P. Björkman

    • University of Gothenburg
  • Photo of  Catherine Larose

    Catherine Larose

    • Université de Lyon
  • Photo of  Thomas Schuler

    Thomas Schuler

    • University of Oslo
  • Photo of  Bartłomiej Luks

    Bartłomiej Luks

    • Instytut Geofizyki PAN
  • Photo of  Andrea Spolaor

    Andrea Spolaor

    • Institute of Polar Sciences, ISP-CNR & Ca' Foscari University of Venice
  • Photo of  Elena Barbaro

    Elena Barbaro

    • Institute of Polar Sciences, ISP-CNR & Ca' Foscari University of Venice
  • Photo of  Tõnu Martma

    Tõnu Martma

    • Tallinn University of Technology
  • Photo of  Ward van Pelt

    Ward Van Pelt

    • Uppsala University
  • Photo of  Ulla Wideqvist

    Ulla Wideqvist

    • Stockholm University
  • Photo of  Johan Ström

    Johan Ström

    • Stockholm University


artykuły w czasopismach
Published in:
ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS no. 21, pages 3035 - 3057,
ISSN: 1680-7316
Publication year:
Bibliographic description:
Zdanowicz C., Gallet J., Björkman M., Larose C., Schuler T., Luks B., Koziol K., Spolaor A., Barbaro E., Martma T., van Pelt W., Wideqvist U., Ström J.: Elemental and water-insoluble organic carbon in Svalbard snow: a synthesis of observations during 2007–2018// ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS -Vol. 21,iss. 4 (2021), s.3035-3057
Digital Object Identifier (open in new tab) 10.5194/acp-21-3035-2021
Sources of funding:
  • The April 2016 survey on Svalbard was funded through a grant from the Svalbard Science Forum (RIS 10472) to Jean-Charles Gallet and others, and surface snow monitoring on Brøgger Peninsula was conducted by the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) with additional support from Svalbardmiljøfonds, the Swedish Research Council Formas project “Black and White” (grant 2006-00210 to Johan Ström and others), the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (statutory activities 3841/E-41/S/2020), and the Institut Paul-Emile Victor (France). Planning and collaborative work between the study co-authors was facilitated by funds from the Swedish Strategic Research Area initiative “Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate” through Gothenburg University, the Gothenburg Air and Climate Network and the International Arctic Science Committee.
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