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The meteorological and marine research programme does basic and applied research on meteorology, atmospheric science and physical oceanography. Research subjects include forecast models for different time frames, scientific applications and remote sensing observations linked to the research area as well as the effects of climate change and how to adapt to them.
 
The climate research programme does basic and applied research on the different components of the climate system. The research subjects are especially past, current and future climate as well as the composition of the atmosphere and its effects on climate change and air quality. Some of the employees of the programme work at the office in Kuopio.
 
The space and earth observation centre is responsible for the research of the polar regions and near space as well as developing technology related to the activity. The research subjects are especially arctic research and remote sensing, new observation methods and space. The Arctic Space Centre and Sodankylä office are a part of the Space and earth observation centre.

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Towards improved measurements of airborne black carbon in the arctic

Towards improved measurements of airborne black carbon in the arctic

A new method to process black carbon measurement data improves the detection limit of a widely used instrument. Measurement stations where black carbon concentrations are low, such as in the arctic, will benefit the most from the newly introduced method.

A new method to process atmospheric measurements of black carbon was recently published. This new method will improve the detection limit of a widely used black carbon measuring instrument. The greatest benefit of this new method is for instruments that experience low concentrations of atmospheric black carbon, such as in the arctic.  This new method will change the time resolution of the instrument when needed in order to more accurately determine the black carbon concentration. Improving the detection limit is desirable since black carbon concentration can at times be low, however, not insignificant. This method was applied to measurement data for six arctic stations and compared with co-located measurement equipment.

Small particles that are airborne do not only impact human health and wellbeing, but also the atmosphere and thus also the climate. These airborne particles, called aerosols, are found throughout the atmosphere. Black carbon aerosols absorb the sun's radiation and turns it into heat. Even small amounts of black carbon in snow or ice can make the snow melt faster; because black carbon will smear pristine snow. Since black carbon in snow originates from the atmosphere, atmospheric measurements of black carbon are of particular importance.

One particularly potent climate perturbing agent is black carbon which originates from various combustion processes. There are natural sources of black carbon aerosols, but much of them can be attributed to human activity such as from industry, combustion of fossil fuels, residential burning, slash-and-burn etc.

More information:

Researcher John Backman, john.backman@fmi.fi

Backman, J., Schmeisser, L., Virkkula, A., Ogren, J. A., Asmi, E., Starkweather, S., Sharma, S., Eleftheriadis, K., Uttal, T., Jefferson, A., Bergin, M., Makshtas, A., Tunved, P., and Fiebig, M.: On Aethalometer measurement uncertainties and an instrument correction factor for the Arctic, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 10, 5039-5062, https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-10-5039-2017, 2017.

Article: https://www.atmos-meas-tech.net/10/5039/2017/

Data: https://doi.org/10.21336/gen.1

 


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Contact information

Scientific Director Ari Laaksonen
tel. +358 539 5530

Meteorological and Marine Research Programme
Director Sami Niemelä
tel. +358 29 539 4172

Climate Research Programme
Director  Hannele Korhonen
tel. +358  29 539 2135

Space and Earth Observation Centre
Director Jouni Pulliainen
tel. +358 29 539 4701

FMI publications

FMI´s own publications series are:

  • FMI Contributions: high-quality peer-reviewed research results, mainly doctoral dissertations
  • FMI Reports: current research results mainly for customers and other stakeholders

All publications from 2016 onwards can be found on Helda.