Over the last years the importance of black carbon (small soot particles) for the climate system has been increasingly recognized. In the last IPCC report the black carbon impact of the Arctic was recognized as an independent and recognizable contribution to global warming. Black carbon, originating from incomplete burning of organic material or fossil fuel and transported as aerosols by the global air currents, is probably the second most important contribution to global warming in the Arctic. Operational black carbon monitoring by satellites would make improved energy balance modelling possible, which is in particular important for modelling the processes in the Arctic and Antarctica. The overall objective of the first phase of the BlackCarbon project has been to determine whether the black carbon content of snow and ice can be retrieved from satellite data and, if this is successful, to outline ideas of algorithms for black carbon retrieval. The first phase started in April 2009 and ended in March 2010. Satellite and field measurements have been carried out in Svalbard.
Norwegian Space Centre