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Dissemination - Arctic Climate Change,
Economy and Society




Key figures


WP6 leader

Nathalie Sennechael has a backgroung in Physical Oceanography (doctor of the University Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC)  and is  scientist at the MNHN -National Museum of Natural History- in Paris. Recently she has been increasingly involved in outreach activities. She is the ACCESS webmaster.


 WP6 co-leader

Oystein Godoy has a background in meteorology and oceanography from University of Bergen. He has been working with remote sensing techniques at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute since 1994. In recent years he has been increasingly involved in data management activities e.g. for the EU project DAMOCLES and in operational data access during IPY.


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Information on:

 The current status of Arctic sea ice


Airborne measurements of local and imported air pollution in the Arctic

The expected future increase of transpolar shipping and hydrocarbon resource extraction in the Arctic will have a significant impact on the atmospheric composition in the northern polar region. At present, the distribution of chemical species and aerosols is mainly affected by a few Arctic pollution sources and the import of anthropogenic and boreal biomass burning emissions from northern mid-latitudes. In the frame of ACCESS these local pollution sources, e.g. ships and oil/gas platforms, and the imported pollution are investigated by the DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics using airborne in-situ measurements.

Click here to enlarge Figure 1.

The DLR research aircraft “Falcon” was deployed from 9-27 July 2012 from the airport in Andoya, northern Norway. The Falcon 20, a modified twin-engine jet, was equipped with a comprehensive set of trace gas and aerosol instruments for measurements of nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, methane and other hydrocarbons, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter including black carbon (Figure 1). A total of 13 flights were conducted in the Arctic covering altitudes from 50 m up to the maximum cruise altitude of 12.8 km. Figure 2 shows all flight paths covering latitudes from 63°N to 82°N and longitudes from 5°E to 30°E.


Several Falcon flights were performed to study the chemical and particle composition of exhaust plumes from dedicated source ships and oil/gas extraction facilities in the Norwegian Sea. Figure 3 shows, as an example, nitrogen oxide measurements in the exhaust trail of the “Heidrun” platform. The Falcon first approached the Heidrun platform as close as possible in order to sample fresh emissions and then meandered away from the emission source. This type of measurement flights allows the analysis of emissions at different plume ages from about 60s to 1-2 hours and help to investigate chemical and aerosol transformations during the dispersion of the pollution plumes. 

Click here to enlarge Figure 2.

Other Falcon flights were dedicated to the measurements of emissions from various vessel types (passenger-, cargo and fishing ships) burning different types of fuel. These measurements help to investigate the emission of soot and the formation of sulfate aerosols from emitted sulfur dioxide in the ship plumes.

Import of emissions from pollution sources into the Arctic were also studied during the ACCESS campaign. In a mission to Spitzbergen, biomass burning emissions transported from Siberia into the Arctic were sampled. The intersected pollution plume showed strongly enhanced carbon monoxide and black carbon concentrations. Another pollution plume was probed over the Barents Sea with particularly high sulfur dioxide mixing ratios, originating from the industrial regions of the Kola Peninsula (Russia).

The Falcon measurements will be used to characterize the emissions from the different sources and to validate model simulations using a regional chemical transport model (WRF-Chem) and a global chemical transport model (MOZART-4). This will, in turn, help to improve model predictions of the future development of Arctic pollution and warming.

Click here to enlarge Figure 3.








The emissions were sampled at different distances from the platforms and at different altitudes.  The marker size indicates the measured nitrogen monoxide mixing ratios, decreasing with distance from the source due to dilution.





Hans Schlager and Anke Roiger (DLR)

- 01/02/13