Program:  Polish-Norwegian Research Programme

Project:  Impact of absorbing aerosols on radiative forcing in the European Arctic

Project acronym:  iAREA

Project ID: Pol-Nor/196911/38/2013

Area of the program/scientific field:  Climate change including polar research

OECD classification: Natural sciences/Earth and related Environmental sciences/climatic research

Duration of the Project: 16 Aug 2013 – 15 Aug 2016, extension 15.12.2016

Project budget: 4 061 031 PLN



The iAREA project is combined of experimental and theoretical research in order to contribute to new knowledge on the impact of absorbing aerosols (AA) on the climate system in the European Arctic. According to the IPCC reports and findings of researchers around the world absorbing aerosols are considered to be important contributors to the global warming, as they are a crucial component for the energy balance in the climate system.

The main goal of the iAREA project is to quantify the impact of the vertical profile of absorbing aerosols on direct radiative forcing in the European Arctic. This will be made through the experimental studies of various physical processes involving absorbing aerosols (mainly soot from human-made and natural sources, mineral dust and volcanic) and by numerical modeling of aerosols and by developing of a methodology to retrieve vertical profiles of the aerosol single-scattering properties.

The scope of the works within the project facilitates the determination of the degree of the impact, which man-made aerosols over the European Arctic have on the total radiative forcing. Finally, we want to show, that the estimation of the impact of absorbing aerosols on the climate system requires an integrative approach which combines the actual observations of vertical variability with the global circulation/transport model simulations.


Project objectives:

(i) to assess and improve the current state of modelling of direct aerosol forcing in the Arctic by estimating the new values of radiative forcing (RF) and reducing uncertainties,

(ii) to investigate factors that underlie the present uncertainty of RF and to quantify uncertainties in RF related to poorly recognized parameters,

(iii) to determine the impact of vertical profile of absorbing properties and relative humidity on RF and to determine the effect of simplification in parameterization of vertical variability of aerosol optical properties on RF results,

(iv) to develop methods to retrieve vertical profiles of single-scattering properties such as the single scattering albedo from synergy of in-situ and remote sensing observations,

(v) to determine the vertical structure of the Arctic haze, especially vertical profiles of single-scattering properties as well as contribution of absorbing aerosol optical depth (AOD) in the Arctic haze layer to the entire column,

(vi) to improve knowledge about ship track impacts on AAs optical properties in the Arctic by estimation of contributions of ship emissions to the total aerosol optical properties,

(vii) to validate results from the GEM-AQ models in the Arctic region.



The research leading to these results has received funding from the Polish-Norwegian Research Programme operated by the National Centre for Research and Development under the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 in the frame of Project Contract No Pol-Nor/196911/38/2013.