APCC Data Report I: Black carbon and organic carbon dataset from atmosphere, glaciers, snow cover, precipitation, and lake sediment cores over the Third Pole

Shichang Kang, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Yulan Zhang, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Pengfei Chen, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Junming Guo, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Qianggong Zhang, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Zhiyuan Cong, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Susan Kaspari, Central Washington University
Lekhendra Tripathee, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Tanguang Gao, Lanzhou University
Hewen Niu, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Xinyue Zhong, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Xintong Chen, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Zhaofu Hu, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Xiaofei Li, Shanxi University
Yang Li, Yunnan University
Bigyan Neupane, Fudan University
Fangping Yan, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Dipesh Rupakheti, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Chaman Gul, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology
Wei Zhang, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Guanming Wu, Central Washington University
Ling Yang, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Zhaoqing Wang, Lanzhou University
Chaoliu Li, Chinese Academy of Sciences

This article was originally published Open Access in Earth System Science Data Discussions. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


The Tibetan Plateau (TP) and its surroundings, known as the Third Pole, play an important role in the regional and global climate and hydrological cycle. Carbonaceous aerosols (CAs), including black carbon (BC) and organic carbon (OC), can directly/indirectly absorb and scatter solar radiation, and change the energy balance on Earth. CAs, along with other atmospheric pollutants (e.g., mercury), can frequently be transported over long distances into the inland TP. During the last decade, a coordinated monitoring network and research program on Atmospheric Pollution and Cryospheric Change (APCC) has been gradually setup and continuously operated within the Third Pole regions to investigate the linkage between atmospheric pollutants and cryospheric change. This paper presents a systematic dataset of BC, OC, water soluble organic carbon (WSOC), and water insoluble organic carbon (WIOC) from aerosols (19 stations), glaciers (17 glaciers, including samples from surface snow/ice, snowpit, and two ice cores), snow cover (2 stations continuous observed, and 138 sites surveyed), precipitation (6 stations), and lake sediment cores (7 lakes) collected across the TP and its surroundings, as the first dataset released from this APCC program. These data were created based on online (in-situ) and laboratory measurements. High-resolution (daily scale) atmospheric equivalent BC (eBC) concentrations were obtained by using an aethalometer (AE-33) in the Mt. Everest (Qomolangma) region, which can provide a new insight into the mechanism of BC transportation over the Himalayas. Spatial distributions of BC, OC, WSOC and WIOC from aerosols, glaciers, snow cover, and precipitation indicated different features among the different regions of the TP, which were mostly influenced by emission sources, transport, and deposition processes. Several hundred years of refractory BC (rBC) records from ice cores and BC from lake sediment cores revealed the strength of human activities since the industrial revolution. BC isotopes from glaciers and aerosols identified the relative contributions of biomass and fossil fuel combustion to BC deposition on the Himalayas and TP. Mass absorption cross section of BC and WSOC from aerosol, glaciers, snow cover, and precipitation samples were also provided. This updated dataset is released to the scientific communities focusing on atmospheric science, cryospheric science, hydrology, climatology and environmental science. The related datasets are presented in the form of excel files. These files are available to download from the State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere Sciences, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences at Lanzhou (https://doi.org/10.12072/ncdc.NIEER.db0114.2021, Kang and Zhang, 2021). In the future, datasets of mercury, heavy metals, and POPs will be reported.