Arctic Black Carbon Initiative. Overview of Potential Demonstration Projects.

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Arctic Council
"Black carbon (BC), or soot, is a short-lived warming agent that affects climate globally and is particularly damaging to the Arctic, where it is thought to be responsible for up to 50% of 20th century warming. Because its atmospheric residence time is relatively short (days to weeks), decreasing BC emissions offers an opportunity to reduce near-term warming, and technologies are readily available for this purpose. Furthermore, while CO2 reductions are essential over the long-run, it is generally understood that decreasing long-lived greenhouse gases alone will not be sufficient to slow cryospheric melting in the Arctic. Simultaneous action on BC and other short-lived climate forcers is also essential. Because BC particles are of respirable size, BC mitigation would have important public health co-benefits for Arctic communities. Recognizing the potentially substantial climate benefits from black carbon mitigation, the United States pledged $5 million dollars in Copenhagen for cooperative efforts to reduce black carbon in the Arctic. The Arctic Council provides the ideal forum for pan-Arctic cooperation to address BC, enhancing the impact of our Copenhagen commitment. The Arctic Council Short Lived Climate Forcers Task Force (SLCF TF) is in the process of identifying BC sources across all member states, as well as mitigation options that could be undertaken as part of their voluntary contribution to reducing overall emissions. If1 agreed by the Senior Arctic Officials (SAOs) in connection with the Tromso mandate , the Arctic Council could implement proposed activities, such as those described below, as appropriate. Implementation of demonstration projects either could be undertaken outside the normal working group structure - by national experts in the Member States working together and reporting to the SAOs - or could be undertaken through the working group structure with national experts reporting to the working groups who would then report to the SAOs." /.../