Arctic Black Carbon Impacting Climate and Air Pollution (ABC-iCAP)

Black carbon is an important short-lived climate forcer (SLCF) with strong negative impact on the Arctic, e.g., by accelerating the melting of the ice. Black carbon is also an air pollutant which harms human health. Methane is a SLCF which has been identified for priority attention in connection with Arctic climate impacts as well as air pollution and human health impacts (as a precursor to ozone).

The main sources of black carbon emissions are linked to combustion of fossil fuels and biomass burning, notably in the energy, residential heating, transport (including vehicles and shipping) and agriculture sectors. The oil and gas sector is an important source of emissions of black carbon and methane. For many of these sources, technically feasible solutions exist that can reduce emissions. Forest fires also contribute to black carbon methane emissions. With climate change, the risk of fires increases and therefore also the associated black carbon and methane emissions, creating a vicious circle for climate feedback.

Black carbon pollution is transported to the Arctic from countries and regions throughout the northern hemisphere, including Russia, the USA, Canada, Europe and Asia. The emissions sources within or in close proximity to the Arctic have the greatest per unit impacts. Emissions of short-lived climate forcers such as black carbon is therefore a problem that requires local, national and international solutions and response.

The ABC-iCAP action is funded by EU Partnership Instrument, and lasts two years (2022-2023). The action supports European Green Deal, Zero Pollution ambition and the revised (October 2021) EU Arctic Policy. BC and methane emissions reductions remain a high priority under the Arctic Council and other regional and international forums such as UN ECE Air Convention – Revised Gothenburg Protocol​. The main objective of the action is to contribute to reducing black carbon and methane from specific source sectors impacting the Arctic by promoting national, regional and international collaboration to build and share relevant knowledge, raise awareness and perform expert analysis with strategic partners and stakeholders to the EU, notably with USA, Canada, as well as through cooperation with relevant international organisations such as the Arctic Council, the UNECE Air Convention, BEAC, CCAC, OECD, UNFCCC/IPCC, World Bank (GGFR) and IMO​.

SYKE will partake in a research study on wildfires and open burning to assess how officially reported statistics and satellite-based emissions estimates differ and why, and how will the emissions from Arctic wildfires develop in the future. SYKE will also act as a contact point between the Finnish chairmanship on Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC) and it’s Working Group on Environment, as well as other Finnish projects on Arctic BC.

The action is led by Arctic Monitoring Program (AMAP) Secretariat, and SYKE is a co-applicant alongside with Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL).

Published 2022-02-18 at 8:58, updated 2022-05-05 at 11:02

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