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Finnish Environment Institute | Suomen ympäristökeskus | Finlands miljöcentral

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Black Carbon Footprint

The aim of the project is to create a new research-oriented business ecosystem covering actors from different areas of companies, research and authorities to create new in-depth knowledge about BC, including measurement methods, BC emissions, ambient BC concentrations and their transformation during aging. As a part of conceptualizing BC footprint, the link from BC emissions to climate impacts that are commensurate with other established climate impact metrics such as CO2 equivalents at different time horizons should be developed. The project also considers the health aspects of BC emissions. Black Carbon Footprint is a three-year research project funded by Business Finland and Finnish companies.

'Black carbon' (BC) is considered to be the most important light absorbing particulate component in the atmosphere in respect of global warming. In addition to direct atmospheric impacts on global climate, BC can deposit on snow leading e.g. a reduction of snow albedo in Arctic areas. In urban areas, BC significantly affects public health. BC sources are typically combustion processes and its main emission sources are anthropogenic, such as transportation, industry and residential combustion. Due to the importance of BC in research regarding the global warming and the potential of BC in climate protection, it has been taken into the arena of Finnish foreign policy.

Although the measurement technologies have significantly developed lately, uniform metrics does not exist for the BC emissions, concentrations and effects. No direct measurement methods exist for BC, and therefore measurement instruments are based on indirect methods, in atmospheric sciences typically on thermal and optical determination of BC concentration and in emission studies on optical and photo-acoustic methods and size distribution measurements. These issues, together with the challenges in BC instrument calibration methods, significantly complicate the policy and air quality actions related to black carbon and estimating effects of BC on global climate and human health.

As a part of conceptualizing BC footprint, the link from BC emissions to climate impacts that are commensurate with other established climate impact metrics (e.g. CO2 equivalents at different time horizons) should be developed. SYKE’s role in the project is to develop concept(s) for such BC climate metrics. The concept(s) will base on SYKE’s scientific expertise and research activities on climate metrics of BC, taking into account partners’ views and feedback that will be gathered in workshops during the project. Finally, the BC Footprint work and results will be linked with other relevant international, national and municipality level projects and processes.

 

Further information

Research Engineer, Mikko Savolahti firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi 
Senior Scientist, Head of Unit, Niko Karvosenoja firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi 

BC footprint kumppanit
 
Published 2020-01-29 at 13:00, updated 2020-02-03 at 10:08