Ordinary Academicians

Örjan Gustafsson

Prof. Dr.

Örjan Gustafsson

Date of birth 04 January 1968

Place Skövde , Sweden (Europe)

Nomination 07 November 2023

Field Earth, Climate and Environmental Sciences

Title Professor of Biogeochemistry

  • Biography
  • Publications

My fundamental interest is to understand how human activities are perturbing the climate and the related biogeochemical cycle of carbon in the global land-ocean-atmosphere system. I am also interested in cross-disciplinary initiatives contributing towards a more sustainable and resilient stewardship of our planet. 

We investigate two grand challenges in climate change science. The first is on Arctic carbon-climate linkages with a focus on thawing land+subsea permafrost and collapsing methane hydrates, which may add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. We have for two decades pursued field campaigns in the key yet remote and vast region of the Siberian-Arctic coastal margin and unearthed extensive methane releases from thawing subsea permafrost and the dynamics of land permafrost remobilization around the entire circum-Arctic in both the present system and during earlier periods of abrupt climate change. 

The second research challenge concerns the interactions of severe air pollution and climate change, with focus on key regions South Asia, the Sub-Saharan Africa, the Tibetan Plateau and East Asia. We have established atmospheric-climate observatories strategically located to intercept the outflow from e.g. India and China. These are continuously operated with decadal perspectives at locations such as in rural S. Bangladesh and on islands in the northern Indian Ocean and in SE Yellow Sea. Placed within a comprehensive framework of satellite- and observatory data, we are isotopically fingerprinting climate- and health-affecting aerosols and gases to provide atmospheric constraints on the relative importance of different sources, to support air quality and climate modelling and to guide society’s efforts to mitigate emissions. We recently also used the COVID shutdown in India as a large-scale geophysical perturbation experiment – a preview of what we may face when we go to net zero fossil emissions. While the skies got bluer and the air got cleaner, the climate warming increased. While atmospherically long-lived CO2 only dropped by 1%, the loading of short-lived net climate-cooling aerosol pollution dropped drastically resulting in an aerosol demasking that enhances climate warming.

The methane added from Arctic permafrost/hydrates and the aerosol demasking in Asia may both cause climate overshoot – that we miss the climate targets and risk passing dangerous thresholds in the earth system. I take a large interest in cross-disciplinary initiatives both in education and in interactions with society and policy makers to contribute towards finding solutions for us to bend the curve of climate change.

Selected to illustrate breadth, novelty and direction. ÖG total citations (excl. auto citations): >17000; Total publications number 260; H-Index > 72 (Web of Science) (* = senior/corr. author)

Nair, H.C.R.C., K. Budhavant, M. R. Manoj, A. Andersson, S. K. Satheesh, V. Ramanathan, Ö. Gustafsson* (2023) Aerosol demasking enhances climate warming over South Asia.  npj Climate and Atmospheric Science, 6:39 ; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41612-023-00367-6

Budhavant, K., A. Andersson, H. Holmstrand, S.K Satheesh, and Ö. Gustafsson* (2023) Black carbon aerosols over Indian Ocean have unique source fingerprint and optical characteristics during monsoon season. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS, USA) https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2210005120

Wild, B., N. Shakhova, O. Dudarev, A. Ruban, D. Kosmach, V. Tumskoy, T. Tesi, H. Grimm, I. Nybom, F. Matsubara, H. Alexanderson, M. Jakobsson, A. Mazurov, I Semiletov, and Örjan Gustafsson* (2022) Organic matter composition and greenhouse gas production of thawing subsea permafrost in the Laptev Sea. Nature Comm. 13, 5057   https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-32696-0

Martens J., B. Wild, I. Semiletov, O. V. Dudarev and Ö. Gustafsson* (2022) Circum-Arctic release of terrestrial carbon varies between regions and sources. Nature Comm. 13, 5858 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-33541-0

Xu, Buqing, G. Zhang, Ö. Gustafsson, K. Kawamura, J. Li,, A. Andersson; S. Bikkina; B. Kunwar, A Pokhret, G. Zhong, Z. Cheng, S. Zhu, P. Peng and G. Sheng (2022) Large contribution of fossil-derived components to aqueous secondary organic aerosols in China Nature Communications, 13, 5115.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-32863-3

Steinbach, J., H. Holmstrand, K. Shcherbakova, D. Kosmach, V. Brüchert, N. Shakhova, A: Salyuk, C. J. Sapart, D. Chernykh, R. Noormets, I. Semiletov, and Ö. Gustafsson* (2021) Source apportionment of methane escaping the subsea permafrost system in the outer Eurasian Arctic Shelf. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA). 118, e2019672118. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2019672118

Salam, A. A: Andersson, F. Jeba, Md. I. Haque, Md D. H. Khan, Ö. Gustafsson* (2021) Wintertime Air Quality in Megacity Dhaka, Bangladesh Strongly Affected by Influx of Black Carbon Aerosols from Regional Biomass Burning. Environ. Sci. Technol., 55, 12243−12249. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.1c03623

Martens, J., B. Wild, F. Muschitiello, M. O’Regan, M. Jakobsson, I. Semiletov, O. V. Dudarev and Ö. Gustafsson* (2020)  Remobilization of dormant carbon from Siberian‐Arctic permafrost during three past warming events. Science Advances 6, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abb6546

Winiger, P., T. E. Barrett, R. J. Sheesley, L. Huang, S. Sharma, L. A. Barrie, K. E. Yttri, N. Evangeliou, S. Eckhardt, A. Stohl, Z. Klimont, C. Heyes, I. P. Semiletov, O. V. Dudarev, A. Charkin, N. Shakhova, H. Holmstrand, A. Andersson and Ö. Gustafsson* (2019) Source apportionment of circum-Arctic atmospheric black carbon from isotopes and modelling.  Science Advances Doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau8052.

Dasari, S. A. Andersson, S: Bikkina, H. Holmstrand. K. Budhavant, S. Satheesh, E. Asmi, J. Kesti, J. Backman, A. Salam, D., Ö. Gustafsson* (2019) Photochemical degradation affects the light absorption of water-soluble brown carbon in the South Asian outflow. Science Advances Doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau8066

Bikkina, S., A. Andersson, E. N. Kirillova, H. Holmstrand, S. Tiwari, A.K. Srivastava, D. S. Bisht and Ö. Gustafsson* (2019) Air quality in megacity Delhi affected by countryside biomass burning. Nature Sustainability DOI: 10.1038/s41893‐019‐0219‐0.

Wild, B., A. Andersson, L. Bröder, J. Vonk, G. Hugelius, J. W. McClelland. W. Song, P. A. Raymond and Ö. Gustafsson* (2019) Rivers across the Siberian Arctic unearth the patterns of carbon release from thawing permafrost. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA), doi: 10.1073/pnas.1811797116.

Fang, W., K. Du, A. Andersson, Z. Xing, C. Cho, S.-W. Kim, J. Deng and Ö. Gustafsson* (2018) Dual-isotope constraints on seasonally resolved source fingerprinting of Black Carbon aerosols in sites of the four emission hotspot regions of China. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JD028607

Gustafsson, Ö.* And V. Ramanathan (2017) Convergence on climate warming by black carbon aerosols. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA). DOI: doi/10.1073/pnas.1603570113.

Shakhova, N., I. Semiletov, Ö. Gustafsson, V. Sergienko, L. Lobkovsky,O. Dudarev, V. Tumskoy, M. Grigoriev, A. Mazurov, A. Salyuk, R. Ananiev, A. Koshurnikov, D. Kosmach, A. Charkin, N Dmitrevsky, V. Karnaukh, A. Gunar, A. Meluzov and D. Chernykh (2017) Current rates and mechanisms of subsea permafrost degradation in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. Nature Communications. 8:15872, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15872.

Li, C., C. Bosch, S. Kang, A. Andersson, P. Chen, Q. Zhang, Z. Cong, B. Chen, D. Qin and Ö. Gustafsson* (2016) Sources of black carbon to the Himalayan–Tibetan Plateau glaciers. Nature Communications 7:12574, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12574

Tesi, T., F. Muschitiello, R.H. Smittenberg, M. Jakobsson, J.E. Vonk, P. Hill, A. Andersson, N. Kirchner, R. Noormets, O. Dudarev, I. Semiletov and Ö. Gustafsson* (2016) Massive remobilization of permafrost carbon during post-glacial warming. Nature Communications 7: 13653, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13653

Semiletov, I., I. Pipko, Ö. Gustafsson, L. G. Anderson, V. Sergienko, S. Pugach, O. Dudarev, A. Charkin, A. Gukov, L. Bröder, A. Andersson, E. Spivak, N. Shakhova (2016) Acidification of East Siberian Arctic Shelf waters through addition of freshwater and terrestrial carbon. Nature Geoscience 9, 361-365. doi:10.1038/ngeo2695

Vonk, J.E. and Ö. Gustafsson* (2013) Permafrost carbon complexities. Nature Geoscience, 6, 675-676.  doi:10.1038/ngeo1937

Vonk, J. E., Sanchez-Garcia, L., et al., and Ö. Gustafsson* (2012) Activation of old carbon by erosion of coastal and subsea permafrost in Arctic Siberia, Nature, 489, 137-140. doi: 10.1038/nature11392

Shakhova, N., I. Semiletov, A. Salyuk, V. Joussupov, D. Kosmach and Ö. Gustafsson* (2010) Extensive methane venting to the atmosphere from sediments of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. Science, 327, 1246-1250 (doi: 10.1126/science.1182221).

Gustafsson*, Ö.; M. Kruså, Z. Zencak, R.J. Sheesley, L. Granat, E. Engström, P.S. Praveen, P.S.P. Rao, C. Leck and H. Rodhe (2009) Brown clouds over South Asia: Biomass or fossil fuel combustion? Science, 323, 495-498.

Professional Address

Dept. Environmental Science and the Bolin Centre for Climate Research
Stockholm University
10691 Stockholm, Sweden