National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2020

Arctic aerosols

Udisti, R., R. Traversi, S. Becagli, C. Tomasi, M. Mazzola, A. Lupi, and P.K. Quinn

Chapter 4 in Physics and Chemistry of the Arctic Atmosphere, A. Kokhanovsky, C. Tomasi (ed.), Springer Polar Sciences, ISBN 978-3-030-33565-6 (print) ISBN 978-3-030-33566-3 (eBook), Springer Nature, Cham, Switzerland, 209-329, View online (2020)

Aerosols play an important role in the climatic system through their direct and indirect effects on radiation. Beside this, they are also part of the complex chain of chemical reactions taking place in the atmosphere. Indirect effects involve aerosols acting as cloud and ice condensation nuclei, brightening of clouds, modification of precipitation capabilities etc. After deposition, they also change reflectivity properties of bright surfaces, particularly important in polar regions.

In the Arctic few natural aerosol sources exist, except oceans for sea-salt and soil for dust, both of them increasing in magnitude due to global warming. Beside this, anthropogenic aerosols are easily transported to the Arctic by atmospheric transport from middle latitudes, in particular during winter and early spring, forming the so-called Arctic Haze.

In this contribution the processes causing the development of Arctic Haze and its characteristics are introduced. Following, a review of the physical and optical properties as well as chemical composition of Arctic aerosols are reviewed using data obtained from numerous monitoring stations in the Arctic.

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