Associate Professor - Physics and Astronomy, Curtin University, Perth Australia
Visiting Professor - College of Engineering, UW-Madison, Wisconsin
Byrd Fellow, 1999
The emission and atmospheric transport of Black Carbon aerosols (BC) have a significant impact on the Earth’s radiative equilibrium and climate. These particles are the primary solar radiation absorbing aerosol species in the atmosphere converting solar energy into heat. BC’s climate sensitivity is most pronounced over bright surfaces, such as the polar ice sheets, sea-ice, deserts and alpine glaciers. Using high-resolution ice cores records we have been studying the long-term history of BC deposition to the Arctic with the goal of understanding natural variability and anthropogenic impacts. Using an array of ice cores, we have found substantial spatial gradients in industrial revolution anthropogenic BC deposition and spatial variability from Arctic biomass burning events. The investigation revealed the large-scale impact of air quality policy in North America and Europe on Arctic BC deposition after 1950. Scenarios for future climate change and Arctic human activity suggest that the current low BC deposition rate for Greenland may be temporary and that dramatic increases in Arctic BC radiative forcing are likely in the future.