Measurements of Black Carbon: importance and sources on the global, regional and local scale

Dr. Griša Močnik

Aerosol d.o.o.


Aerosolized Black Carbon (BC) is the second most important climate forcing agent lagging behind CO2 only. It is also a very good indicator of undesired health effects caused by air pollution. Short term abatement measures aiming at reducing BC and implemented through national and international legislation would slow down atmospheric heating and avoid several million deaths a year globally at the same time. I will present ground based and airborne measurements relevant for all three types of effects of BC: local, regional and global. We demonstrated that aggressive measures effectively improve local air quality in small and large cities. We showed that indoor BC concentrations and sources do not differ from those outside in schools and hospitals with no active air conditioning systems. We found out that wood combustion is an important air pollutant, regionally more important than traffic. This is true for small and medium sized cities in the Alpine region. Airborne measurements show how distributed small sources influence regional climate and why models underestimate the direct effect of BC on the climate up to a quarter.