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Black carbon (BC) deposited on snow and glacier surfaces can reduce albedo and lead to accelerated melt. An ice core recovered from Guoqu glacier on Mt. Geladaindong and analyzed using a Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2) provides the first long-term (1843–1982) record of BC from the central Tibetan Plateau. Post 1940 the record is characterized by an increased occurrence of years with above average BC, and the highest BC values of the record. The BC increase in recent decades is likely caused by a combination of increased emissions from regional BC sources, and a reduction in snow accumulation. Guoqu glacier has received no net ice accumulation since the 1980s, and is a potential example of a glacier where an increase in the equilibrium line altitude is exposing buried high impurity layers. That BC concentrations in the uppermost layers of the Geladaindong ice core are not substantially higher relative to deeper in the ice core suggests that some of the BC that must have been deposited on Guoqu glacier via wet or dry deposition between 1983 and 2005 has been removed from the surface of the glacier, potentially via supraglacial or englacial meltwater.
Matthew, J., Susan, K., Kang, S. C., Bjorn, G., & Paul A., M. (2016). Tibetan Plateau Geladaindong black carbon ice core record (1843–1982): Recent increases due to higher emissions and lower snow accumulation. Advances in Climate Change Research, 7(3), 132–138. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.accre.2016.07.002
Advances in Climate Change Research
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