Air Pollution in the Arctic: Climate, Environment and Societies (PACES)

Fostering collaborative, interdisciplinary research on Arctic air pollution and its interactions with the Earth system and human societies

PACES is an IGAC-sponsored initiative, which aims to review existing knowledge and foster new research on the sources and fate of Arctic air pollution, and its impacts on climate, health, and ecosystems (Arnold et al., 2016). Areas of focus include feedbacks between pollution and natural sources, climate responses, and societal perspectives. PACES coordinates international research efforts on these topics in collaboration with existing and planned initiatives such as HTAPAMAPPEEXIASOA, and CATCH (ADD website link), and motivates trans-disciplinary research related to Arctic air pollutants. PACES is co-sponsored by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC).

PACES is managed by two co-chairs and a scientific steering committee (SSC). There are currently two PACES working groups.

PACES WG1 aims to promote research aimed at reducing uncertainties in model processes governing the  sources, transformation, deposition, and impacts of Arctic air pollution, and short-lived climate forcers, in particular. It focuses on improved understanding, and model treatments, of long-range transport of pollutants from mid-latitudes, high latitude fires, and Arctic-global linkages. Improved model performance can be achieved via targeted measurement campaigns (aircraft, ground-based, ship), and satellite data analysis, to evaluate processes. The collection of regular vertical profiles of atmospheric composition in the Arctic is identified as a priority research need.

PACES WG2 focuses on interactions between Arctic air pollution and societies. Approaches under active development are observational studies guided by community concerns, investigation of local air quality in Arctic communities, and feedbacks between economic development, air pollution and environmental change in the Arctic (Schmale et al. 2018). A major initiative is the Alaskan Layered Pollution And Chemical Analysis (ALPACA) project (Simpson et al., 2018). As a component of ALPACA, an international field campaign took place in Fairbanks, Alaska, in winter 2022 with the aim to improve understanding of sources and chemical processing of air pollutants in Arctic wintertime conditions (

The Quantifying the Indirect Effect: from Sources to Climate Effects of Natural and Transported aerosol in the Arctic (QuIESCENT Arctic) initiative is also developed jointly between PACES and CATCH (

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Past Events

IGAC ECR Conference

Virtually everywhere
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PACES 5th Open Science Meeting (joint AMAP)

Helsinki, Finland



Alaskan Layered Pollution And Chemical Analysis (ALPACA) White Paper (2018). Simpson, W., K.S. Law, J. Schmale, K.A. Pratt, S.R. Arnold, and J. Mao.

Local Arctic air pollution: A neglected but serious problem (2018)Schmale, J., S.R. Arnold, K.S. Law, T. Throp, S. Anenberg, W.R. Simpson, J. Mao, and K.A. Pratt. Earth's Future, 6, doi:10.1029/2018EF000952.

White Paper for IMPAACT: Investigation of Multiscale Processes Affecting Atmospheric Chemical Transport (2018).  Brock, C.,  B. Anderson, E. Apel, M. Barth, T. Bates, O. Cooper, J. Crawford, J. de Gouw, J. Dibb, A. Fiore, E. Fischer, F. Flocke, C. Heald, D. Jacob, J. Jimenez, R. Moore, L. Jaeglé, D. Jaffe, J.-F. Lamarque, J. Mao, B. Pierce, P. Quinn, T. Ryerson, J. Schwarz, S. Tilmes, D. Toohey, and L. Ziemba

Arctic air pollution: Challenges and opportunities for the next decade. (2016). Arnold S, Law K, Brock C, Thomas J, Starkweather S, et al.Elementa Science for the Anthropocene, doi: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000104.