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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 07:00
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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. Improvements in atmospheric BC transport and deposition significantly reduce the biases (by a factor of two) in the estimation of BCS concentration over both Northern China and the Arctic. Further sensitivity simulations using the improved CAM5 indicate that the melt-water scavenging efficiency (MSE) parameter plays an important role in regulating BC concentrations in the Arctic through the post-depositional enrichment, which not only drastically changes the amplitude but also shifts the seasonal cycle of the BCS concentration and its radiative forcing in the Arctic. The impact of the snow aging scaling factor (SAF) on BCS shows more complex latitudinal and seasonal dependence, and overall impact of SAF is much smaller than that of MSE. The improvements of BC transport and deposition in CAM5 have a stronger influence on BCS than perturbations of the two snow model parameters in Northern China.