Source apportionment of black carbon in Calgary, Canada

Black carbon (BC), generated from incomplete combustion of carbonaceous fuels, is one of the two major airborne pollutants that drive climate change and degrade regional air quality. With a warming potential second to CO2, BC contributes the most uncertainty to climate modeling due to its short retention time in the atmosphere and poorly understood mixing, deposition, and contribution from various emission sources. BC from fossil fuel and biomass burning possesses distinct light absorbing properties and aging processes, and hence differing warming potentials. Therefore, improved source characterization is crucial for determining targets, formulating mitigation strategies, and increasing the accuracy of input anthropogenic aerosols in climate models. In our study, we specify the source apportionment of black carbon in Calgary and the outcomes will enable a better simulation of the Calgary climate system by providing more accurate source parameterization. The simulation results will in turn impact the regulatory sector by providing specific constraints for emission inventories, which will assist policymakers to develop regionally tailored mitigation strategies for black carbon by selecting the right sector to target.

Faculty Supervisor:

Ke Du


Kuangyou Yu



Engineering - mechanical



University of Calgary



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