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Sources of black carbon to the Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau glaciers
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
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Number of Authors: 10
2016 (English)In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 7, 12574Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Combustion-derived black carbon (BC) aerosols accelerate glacier melting in the Himalayas and in Tibet (the Third Pole (TP)), thereby limiting the sustainable freshwater supplies for billions of people. However, the sources of BC reaching the TP remain uncertain, hindering both process understanding and efficient mitigation. Here we present the source-diagnostic Delta C-14/delta C-13 compositions of BC isolated from aerosol and snowpit samples in the TP. For the Himalayas, we found equal contributions from fossil fuel (46 +/- 11%) and biomass (54 +/- 11%) combustion, consistent with BC source fingerprints from the Indo-Gangetic Plain, whereas BC in the remote northern TP predominantly derives from fossil fuel combustion (66 +/- 16%), consistent with Chinese sources. The fossil fuel contributions to BC in the snowpits of the inner TP are lower (30 +/- 10%), implying contributions from internal Tibetan sources (for example, yak dung combustion). Constraints on BC sources facilitate improved modelling of climatic patterns, hydrological effects and provide guidance for effective mitigation actions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 7, 12574
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-134466DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12574ISI: 000381948600001PubMedID: 27552223OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-134466DiVA: diva2:1033377
Available from: 2016-10-06 Created: 2016-10-06 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved

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