IBA-projects and other projects related to BC, dust and cryosphere


IBA-PERMAFROST project (11/2020-12/2022)

Effects of permafrost thaw on environment and well-being in Nordic and Russian Arctic will be assessed. News released at www.fmi.fi on 12 Nov 2020 in English: IBA-PERMAFROST

Ikiroudan sulamisen tilaa ja sulamisen vaikutuksia selvitetään uudessa hankkeessa. Uutinen www.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi 12.11.2020 suomeksi: IBA-IKIROUTA

Funding: Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA of Finland)

Start: 11/2020 End: 12/2022

Coordinating: Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI)

Partner: Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)

Contact: Outi Meinander (firstname.lastname@fmi.fi) and Mikael Hildén (firstname.lastname@syke.fi)

Collaborators: Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observation System SIOS, University Helsinki PAN-EURASIAN EXPERIMENT PEEX -programme, Nordic Snow Network (NordSnowNet)

Co-operation: including, e.g., Ministry of Environment of Finland.

Aim: The IBA-Permafrost project aims to assess the effects of permafrost thaw on environment, infrastructure, source of livehood, economy and health in the Nordic and Russian Artic region. The project will collect and discuss the most recent research results on the state and effects of thawing Arctic permafrost and use these for new modeling approaches. The work contributes to the Arctic Monitoring and Assessments Programme (AMAP) of the Arctic Council.

Activities: The project arranges co-operative workshops and online meetings during 2021-2022 in Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Russia, and Svalbard.

Project description: As permafrost thaws, greenhouse gases are released into the environment, which again enhances climate warming. This is one of the several Arctic feedback mechanisms which amplify Arctic climate change. The new IBA-Permafrost project has been granted funding to collect, discuss and evaluate the latest research results on the state, processes, effects and risks of permafrost thaw and use these in new modeling approaches. The project is coordinated by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, in collaboration with the Finnish Environment Institute. The project forms a new multidisciplinary and networking-oriented consortium in Finland, with international collaboration, covering actors from different fields of research. The aim of the project is to analyze and assess information on permafrost thaw for Arctic policy decision makers. The project will arrange workshops and virtual meetings in Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Russia, and Svalbard.

“Assessing the effects of permafrost thaw requires discussing and including also the most recent measurements and local citizen observations, which are not yet published or available for the scientific community. The aim of this project is to collect this important information and form a picture of the status and possible current and near-future threats to permafrost environment, especially in the Nordic countries and Russia,” says senior research scientist Outi Meinander from the Finnish Meteorological Institute. “The results can then further be utilized in the assessments serving the Arctic Council”, continues professor Mikael Hildén from the Finnish Environment Institute. In addition to the Finnish Meteorological Institute that coordinates the project with its main collaborator Finnish Environment Institute, the research partners in the consortium include Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observation System SIOS lead by prof. Heikki Lihavainen, and the University of Helsinki PAN-EURASIAN EXPERIMENT PEEX -programme, Doc. Hanna Lappalainen. The participating network includes also the Ministry of Environment of Finland, Dr. Kaarle Kupiainen, and the Nordic Snow Network (NordSnowNet). NordSnowNet is a recent project launched in 2019 under the Nordic Arctic Co-operation Programme of the Nordic Council of Ministers, which is administered by Nordregio and contributes to enhancing knowledge about the Arctic region. NordSnowNet is coordinated by Dr. Ali Nadir Arslan, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Arctic Space Center, and its partners are Nordic meteorological institutes and collaborative universities and research institutes from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Greenland, Iceland and Estonia. NordSnowNet is open for new Nordic partners and their researchers to join. The IBA-Permafrost project is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and will last from mid-November 2020 till the end of 2022.

Further information:

Senior research scientist, Dr. Outi Meinander (project leader, general matters, Arctic environmental change feedbacks), Finnish Meteorological Institute, outi.meinander@fmi.fi, tel. +358 50 569 8900.

Prof. Mikael Hildén (project collaborator, policy expert), Finnish Environment Institute, mikael.hilden@syke.fi, tel. + 358 295 251 173.

Dr. Ali Nadir Arslan (Nordic Snow Network), Finnish Meteorological Institute, ali.nadir.arslan@fmi.fi, tel. +358 50 320 3386.

Prof. Heikki Lihavainen (SIOS), SIOS Knowledge Centre, Norway, director@sios-svalbard.org, tel. +47 47 648 242

Doc. Hanna Lappalainen (Pan-Eurasian Experiment program PEEX and Russia-co-operation), University of Helsinki, tel. +358 50 434 1710.

Dr. Johanna Ikävalko (Arctic Council Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme AMAP); Dr. Reija Ruuhela (effects on human health); Economist Eeva Kuntsi-Reunanen (effects on economy); Dr. Heikki Tuomenvirta (seasonal and climate applications); Finnish Meteorological Institute (firstname.lastname@fmi.fi).

Dr. Stefan Fronzek (Climate change impacts and scenarios), Dr. Nina Pirttioja (model applications); Research professor Tim Carter (impact modeling); Finnish Environment Institute (firstname.lastname@syke.fi).


Black carbon in the Arctic and significance compared to dust sources (IBA-FIN-BCDUST)

Funding: Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA of Finland) Start: 12/2018 End: 12/2020 Coordinating: Finnish Meteorological Institute Partner: Finnish Environment Institute Contact: Outi Meinander (firstname.lastname@fmi.fi) and Niko Karvosenoja (firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi)

Co-operation: including, e.g., Ministry of the Environment, University Helsinki, University of Eastern Finland (Kuopio).

Aim: This IBA-project aims to assess black carbon in the Arctic and significance compared to dust sources for their climate impacts. Special focus is on Finland, Iceland and Russia including cryospheric impacts,  health effects and shipping. The project is planned to support the activities of the Finnish chairmanship of the Arctic Council and work in the AMAP EGSLCF, as well as the activities in Iceland (and thereafter Russia) as the next chair of the Arctic Council. The project also aims to collect together Finnish expertise related to black carbon (BC) and cold climate high latitude dust (hld or cchld). For the purpose, a webropol link will be available here to allow the collection of inputs also outside the project participants.

Activities: The project arranges three co-operative workshops during 2019, one in Finland, one in Iceland and one in Russia.

Publications, presentations, press releases: https://en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/iba-publications

Meetings: https://en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/iba-meetings

Our other ongoing related projects, e.g.,

  • Novel Assessment of Black Carbon in the Eurasian Arctic: From historical concentrations and Sources to Future Climate Impacts (NABCEA)

Funding: Academy of Finland Start year: 2016 End year: 2020 Coordinating: Finnish Meteorological Institute Contact: Jussi Paatero (firstname.lastname@fmi.fi)

Other relevant ongoing projects and activities where we participate, e.g.,

  • EU COST Action InDust

  • MOSAiC

  • SnowAPP


Our previous related projects, e.g.,

  • H2020 EU-INTERACT project of Black Carbon in snow and water (BLACK)

Description: Snow that appears white-to-eye can actually contain tiny black particles in amounts that can be important to climate change. This we have learned from our work on aerosols in snow and ice.  We have found that small  amounts of such particles can induce snow and ice melt, but we have also shown that very large amounts can prevent snow and ice from melting. BLACK team will be conducting fieldwork on and around the stations of Faroe Islands Nature Investigation FINI, Iceland’s Sudurnes Science and Learning Center, and UK Environmental Change Network’s ECN Cairngorms, Scotland, in season 2018-2019.

Funding: H2020 EU-INTERACT

Start year: 2018 End year: 2019

Coordinating: Finnish Meteorological Institute PI: Outi Meinander

Contact: Outi Meinander (firstname.lastname@fmi.fi)

More information: Arctic research blog by Outi Meinander, available at https://arcticresearch.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/heres-why-and-how-we-plan-to-find-black-particles/

  • Arctic Absorbing Aerosols and Albedo of Snow (A4)

The main objective of the project is to quantify the interaction of Arctic snow albedo and absorbing aerosols (Black Carbon, BC), and to gain more in-depth understanding of the globally important aspects of BC and albedo feedback, as well as BC and snow melt in the Arctic.

Funding: Academy of Finland (decision No. 254195) Start year: 2012 End year: 2015 Coordinating: Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI)

Contact: Prof. Gerrit de Leeuw (Gerrit.Leeuw@fmi.fi), and Outi Meinander (firstname.lastname@fmi.fi) Partners and co-operation: The project is within the Nordic Top-level Research Initiative (TRI) "Cryosphere-atmosphere interactions in a changing Arctic climate" (CRAICC) with ACP CRAICC –Special Issue.

Description: Black carbon (BC) is formed through the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, forest fires, industrial processes, diesel vehicles, and other sources of incomplete combustion emitting soot particles to the atmosphere. The effect of BC in snow layers is of importance to climate change and also for forcasting snow melt. Snow reflectivity, i.e. albedo, varies with wavelength, and therefore the strength of the feedback depends on a number of factors, such as the depth and age of the snow cover, snow grain size, solar zenith angle, and cloud cover. According to IPCC, the level of scientific understanding on the effect of BC on surface albedo (black carbon aerosol on snow) is low, the consensus insufficient, and the evidence for radiative forcing estimates not strong. Uncertainties are identified there to be especially related to: separation of anthropogenic from natural,  mixing of snow and aerosols, and quantification of radiative forcing. Especially the effect of black carbon on snow albedo and melting is improperly understood. Our work aims to reduce these uncertainties.

Other relevant previous projects where we have participated, e.g.,


  • EU COST Action Harmosnow

In addition: Other relevant projects of our IBA-FIN-BCDUST co-operation partners

Last updated: 1 December 2020 by Outi Meinander