Arctic Transport Potential


Lead: Sim Larkin, USFS AirFire
Co-Is: T. Strand, Scion; S. Brown,
J. DeWinter, S. Raffuse, STI; P. Dolwick, EPA
R. Solomon, USFS
Many thanks:
P. Lahm, USFS; E. Sasser, EPA
R. Draxlar, NOAA; B. Kinder, USFS

This page describes two projects focused on identifying transport patterns for emissions to reach the Arctic.  The two projects are similar but with distinct geographic foci.  One is a Joint Fire Science Program project looking at contiguous U.S. (CONUS) emissions sources and the other is a U.S. State Department funded effort (as part of a larger USDA project) focused on emissions from Russia.

Introduction

Springtime transport potential (% days showing transport) to the Arctic for the period 1980-2009. Only transport in 7 days or less are considered.

The basic question behind each project is the same:

  • What are the conditions required for emissions to be transported from their source locations to the Arctic?

This question is important for determining what emissions have the potential for transport to the Arctic, but it also defines the reverse:

  • When do emissions have no potential for transport to the Arctic?

Daily Arctic transport potential (locations with transport) for September 14, 2012 based on the 00Z weather forecast. Color coded by the lowest level showing transport (red for <= 1000m, etc…).

Knowing when emissions have no transport potential is important, particularly for black carbon, as this knowledge allows for focusing mitigation efforts and research on the areas and emissions sources that can affect the Arctic. The focus here is on necessary conditions for transport to the Arctic;  determining sufficient conditions requires considerations such as chemistry, deposition, and rain, that each have their own modeling uncertainties.  By focusing only on necessary conditions, this modeling effort can rule out areas, timing, and emissions sources that are not of interest for Arctic impacts; but cannot properly state that an area, timing, or emissions source is a definite cause of impacts to the Arctic.  This approach can be considered conservative in what is ruled out.

Methodology

A 30-year climatology of Arctic Transport Potential was created using historical meteorology model runs.  Additionally a real-time (daily) forecast system was created. Areas examined include both CONUS and Eurasia. For all of the modeling, the HYSPLIT trajectory model is used. As discussed below, different model setups are needed for the climatology and for the real-time forecasts; additional, but more minor differences occur between the CONUS and Eurasian modeling.

Climatological runs

For the climatological runs, HYSPLIT is run using the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) dataset embedded within the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) Global Reanalysis for full northern hemisphere coverage. Trajectories are released every 6 hours from a grid of points at the following height levels: 500, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000, and 5000m above ground level (AGL) and run out for 10 days. The release locations over CONUS are every other grid cell within the NARR dataset (approximately 64 km); over Eurasia, the release points are every 1 degree aligned with the global reanalysis. See Larkin et al. 2012 for technical details of the CONUS modeling. Eurasian modeling details are in preparation.

Daily forecasts

Daily forecasts are generated from the U.S. National Weather Service’s Global Forecast System (GFS) model runs. Trajectories are released every 3 hours from every GFS land grid cell in the U.S. and Canada for North America, and between 38N and the Arctic circle elsewhere, at the same starting heights as the climatological runs and run out for 4 days. Interpretation of the daily forecasts is based on which height levels reach the Arctic. Smaller fires and lower intensity fires such as prescribed burns are generally limited in their ability to loft smoke high into the atmosphere, and higher atmospheric levels are generally more capable of transporting emissions to the Arctic quickly. Therefore, we display information for the daily forecasts based on what the lowest level of the atmosphere that is reaching the Arctic because the lower the level of the atmosphere with transport, the smaller the fire that may be able to produce emissions that can reach that transport level.

Output Products

ClimatologY

Daily forecasts

Final Reports
  • CONUS work:  Final report to the Joint Fire Science Program (pdf on JFSP site 11.3MB)

How to reference this work

To reference the climatology, please use:

  • Larkin, N.K., DeWinter, J. L., Hafner, H.R., Brown, S.G., Raffuse, S.M., Strand, T.M., Callahan, J., Craig, K.J., and Solomon, R.C. (2012) An Atlas and Daily Forecasts For Assessing the Potential for Emissions Transport to the Arctic. General Technical Report, U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, Oregon. (in review)

For the daily forecasts, please use:

  • Larkin, N.K., DeWinter, J.L., Hafner, H.R., Strand, T.M., Brown, S.G., Raffuse, S.M., Callahan, J., Craig, K.J., and Solomon, R.C. (2012) Arctic transport potential patterns: 1980-2009. J. Applied Met. Clim. (in preparation)

Presentations

Larkin, N.K., DeWinter, J.L., Brown, S.G., Raffuse, S.M., Strand, T.M., Craig, K.J., Solomon, R.C., and Roberts, P.T.  (2012)  Identification of necessary conditions for transport to the Arctic.  USDA-PNAMA Workshop, Puskino, Russia, March.

DeWinter, J. L., Larkin, N. K., Strand, T.M., Raffuse, S.M., Brown, S.G., Craig, K.J., and Roberts, P.T. (2011) Synoptic scale patterns and variability in long-range transport from the CONUS to the Arctic Circle:  informing controlled burn strategy and regulation. AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December.

Kinder, B., Hao, W.M., Larkin, N.K., McCarty, G., O’Neal, K.J., Gonzalez, O., Luxenberg, J., Rosenblum, M., and Petkov, A.  (2011)  Black carbon in the Arctic:  assessment of and efforts to reduce black carbon emissions from wildfires and agricultural burning in Russia.  AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA,  December.

Larkin, N.K., DeWinter, J.L., Brown, S.G., Raffuse, S.M., Strand, T.M., Craig, K.J., Solomon, R.C., and Roberts, P.T. (2011)  Identification of necessary conditions for transport to the Arctic.  USDA/State Department presentation,   Washington, D.C.,  December.

DeWinter, J. L., Raffuse, S.M., Brown, S.G., Craig, K.J., Roberts, P.T., Larkin, N. K.,  and Strand, T.M. (2011)  Mitigating the impact of prescribed burning in the continental United States using trends in synoptic scale transport to the Arctic region.  Air & Waste Management Association, Greenhouse Gas Strategies in a Changing Climate,   San Francisco, CA, November.

Larkin, N.K., Brown, S.G., Craig, K.J., DeWinter, J.L., Raffuse, S.M.,  Strand, T.M., Roberts, P. T., and Solomon, R.C.  (2011) Identifying the potential for Arctic transport of smoke. Ninth Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology, Palm Springs, CA, October.

Larkin, N.K.  (2011)  AirFire science applications:  beyond BlueSky.  USFS PNW Station Management Team, Webinar, July.

Larkin, N.K., DeWinter, J.L., Brown, S.G., Raffuse, S.M., Strand, T.M., Craig, K.J., Solomon, R.C., and Roberts, P.T. (2011)  Identification of necessary conditions for transport to the Arctic.  USDA State Department Black Carbon Initiative,  Washington, D.C.,  February.

Larkin, N.K. (2011)  Air quality modeling and decision support tools for wildland fire.  USFS Conversations with the Chief series, Webinar, January.

DeWinter, J.L., Larkin, N.K., Strand, T.M., Raffuse, S.M., Brown, S.G., Craig, K.J., Roberts, P.T., and Draxler, R.R. (2010) Climatology of air mass transport to the Arctic from locations of prescribed burning in the United States.  AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA,  December.

DeWinter, J.L., Raffuse, S.M., Brown, S.G., Craig, K.J., Roberts, P.T., Larkin, N.K., and Strand, T.M. (2010) Climatology of air mass transport to the Arctic from locations of prescribed burning in the United States. 29th  Annual AAAR Conference, Portland, OR, October.

Raffuse, S. M., Larkin, N.K. ,Strand, T.M., DeWinter, J.L., Brown, S.G., Craig, K.J., and Roberts, P.T. (2010)  Identifying conditions necessary for CONUS fires to impact the Arctic. 3rd  Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference, Spokane, WA, October.

Papers

DeWinter, J. L., Raffuse, S.M., Strand, T.M., Larkin, N.K., Brown, S.G., Craig, K.J., and Roberts P.T.  (2011) Mitigating the impact of prescribed burning in the continental United States using trends in synoptic scale transport to the Arctic region. Air & Waste Management Association Greenhouse Gas Strategies in a Changing Climate, San Francisco, CA, November.  (5 pages)

Larkin, N.K., DeWinter, J. L., Hafner, H.R., Brown, S.G., Raffuse, S.M., Strand, T.M., Callahan, J., Craig, K.J., and Solomon, R.C. (2012)  An Atlas and Daily Forecasts For Assessing the Potential for Emissions Transport to the Arctic.  General Technical Report, U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, Oregon.  (in review)

Larkin, N.K., DeWinter, J.L., Hafner, H.R., Strand, T.M., Brown, S.G., Raffuse, S.M., Callahan, J., Craig, K.J., and Solomon, R.C. (2012)  Arctic transport potential patterns: 1980-2009.  J. Applied Met. Clim. (in preparation)