Recent measurements of light absorbing particles in the Arctic lower stratosphere show significantly higher mass concentrations of black carbon than were measured in 1992. The difference is primarily a result of measurements with a more quantitative and accurate technique than was previously used. We attribute the large amount of light absorbing material to transport from lower latitude, tropospheric sources rather than increases in aircraft emissions. The calculated heating rate in this aerosol layer, as compared to an atmosphere consisting of only gases, increases by 12% during the winter. This is a result of light absorption by the particles and could perturb the altitude of the local tropopause and affect tropospheric/stratospheric exchange processes.