Eurasian Boreal Network for land - atmosphere - climate interactions (BORNET-Eurasia)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: School of Earth and Environment

Abstract

The Eurasian Boreal region is warming 3 times faster than the global mean making it a priority region for identifying and understanding land-atmosphere-climate interactions and feedbacks. Much of the warming at these high latitudes is driven by short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) such as black carbon and ozone. There is a severe paucity of observations of SLCPs over the Eurasian Boreal region presenting a major challenge to improving our understanding. This proposal aims build capability for improving understanding of SLCP budgets and climate feedbacks in the Eurasian high latitudes. This will be achieved through the establishment of a network of European and Russian scientists, and exploitation of existing observations and global model simulations to motivate future large-scale field observation experiments in the Eurasian boreal region.

We will leverage existing NERC investment in our ongoing research into European pollution export and evaluation of atmospheric composition in global models to provide scientific impetus and direction for new research priorities. We will build new, and strengthen existing collaborations between a network of researchers across Europe and Russia. By synthesising existing observations and multi-model simulations, we will motivate the requirements for future observations and prioritise processes that require improved understanding. Within our network we will hold a number of workshops to discuss a) existing data synthesis, b) model-observation comparisons, c) future data needs in the Eurasian boreal region, and d) plans for future aircraft field campaigns. In addition, we will make a scoping visit to the Central Aerological Observatory near Moscow, Russia, in order to evaluate the feasibility of different strategies for a joint aircraft campaign, considering issues such as logistics for joint operations and communication, geo-political constraints on aircraft operations, and experimental strategies for joint flying. The overall end-result of this project will be a coherent community of international scientists with a robust knowledge base of deficiencies in our understanding of short-lived climate pollutants, priorities for observations, and a strategy for developing future large-scale observation networks and large-scale field projects in the Eurasian boreal regions.

Planned Impact

The overall end-result of this project will be a coherent community of international scientists with a robust knowledge base of deficiencies in our understanding of short-lived climate pollutants, priorities for observations, and a strategy for developing future large-scale observation networks and large-scale field projects in the Eurasian boreal regions.

This will have direct impact in several different ways:

1) Placing the UK in a leading role in the development of novel international field projects in a key region of the Earth system.
2) Creation of links between UK (& European) and Russian scientists studying atmospheric composition and undertaking aircraft research.
3) Exploiting ongoing NERC science and international model evaluation projects to improve understanding of model deficiencies in a severely under-observed region.
4) Raising awareness of the importance of short-lived climate forcers as drivers of high-latitude and northern hemisphere climate change to policy-facing communities and the general public.

In addition, further downstream impact will result from leveraging of the project outcomes to develop further standard and large grant applications to NERC and European agencies (e.g. through the Pan Eurasian Experiment).

Methods that we will use to achieve this impact are:

1) A peer-reviewed paper on regional data synthesis and model evaluation for boreal Eurasia.
2) A white paper detailing the requirements and scientific motivation for future aircraft field campaigns in the Eurasian Boreal region.
3) Creation of a website for the BORNET-Eurasia network. This will be a hub for sharing of information on our networking activities, results from data synthesis and model evaluation, and details of workshops and outcomes from them. Information will be presented in a manner suitable for both specialist and general audiences.
4) Holding workshops to discuss existing data synthesis, model-observation comparisons, future data needs in the Eurasian boreal region, and plans for future aircraft field campaigns.
5) Cementing UK-Russian aircraft group relations through a dedicated scoping visit to the Central Aerological Observatory, near Moscow.
6). The proposal will research topics that are of great interest to the public (e.g., impacts of climate on forest fires). We will disseminate results of our work to the public through a range of mechanisms including websites, twitter, press releases and public talks. The PI and co-I have a strong track record in public engagement through their existing NERC grants.
 
Description - Our research has enabled a first evaluation of the modelled distribution of short-lived climate pollutants in the Siberian Arctic, enabled by new collaboration with Finnish and Russian groups. We have also helped establish a new international initiative on research into Arctic air pollution and its impacts: PACES (air Pollution in the Arctic: climate, environment and societies), which aims to establish international research efforts into Arctic air pollution over the coming decade: http://www.igacproject.org/PACES
Exploitation Route Our findings are helping to establish research priorities for international experimental activities focussed on Arctic air pollution over the coming decade.
Sectors Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport

 
Description Findings contributed to the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme assessment on black carbon and ozone as Arctic climate forcers: http://www.amap.no/documents/doc/amap-assessment-2015-black-carbon-and-ozone-as-arctic-climate-forcers/1299
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Energy,Environment,Healthcare
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description AMAP Expert Group participation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Contributed to expertise on the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme expert group on "Black Carbon and Ozone as Arctic Climate Forcers". This is an international group of experts concerned with the effects of air pollution on Arctic climate. This led to the production of an assessment report in 2015 (see loin below).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
URL http://www.amap.no/documents/doc/amap-assessment-2015-black-carbon-and-ozone-as-arctic-climate-force...
 
Description NERC Into the Blue 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A presentation was given at the NERC Into the Blue event in Manchester in October 2016, focussed on improving public understanding of Arctic air pollution and climate change. The audience was mainly co prised of children and parents, and other members of the general public. Questions were sparked regarding how much Arctic climate has changed, how much of our air pollution makes it to the Arctic. The audience size was around 60 people, split across two sessions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://intotheblue.nerc.ac.uk/manchester/