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Title: A Sensitivity Study on Modeling Black Carbon in Snow and its Radiative Forcing over the Arctic and Northern China

Black carbon in snow (BCS) simulated in the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM5) is evaluated against measurements over Northern China and the Arctic, and its sensitivity to atmospheric deposition and two parameters that affect post-depositional enrichment is explored. The BCS concentration is overestimated (underestimated) by a factor of two in Northern China (Arctic) in the default model, but agreement with observations is good over both regions in the simulation with improvements in BC transport and deposition. Sensitivity studies indicate that uncertainty in the melt-water scavenging efficiency (MSE) parameter substantially affects BCS and its radiative forcing (by a factor of 2-7) in the Arctic through post-depositional enrichment. The MSE parameter has a relatively small effect on the magnitude of BCS seasonal cycle but can alter its phase in Northern China. The impact of the snow aging scaling factor (SAF) on BCS, partly through the post-depositional enrichment effect, shows more complex latitudinal and seasonal dependence. Similar to MSE, SAF affects more significantly the magnitude (phase) of BCS season cycle over the Arctic (Northern China). While uncertainty associated with the representation of BC transport and deposition processes in CAM5 is more important than that associated with the two snow model parameters in Northern China,more » the two uncertainties have comparable effect in the Arctic.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Environmental Research Letters, 9(6):Article No. 064001
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
black carbon in snow; radiative forcing; Artic; Northern China