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East Asian SO2 pollution plume over Europe � Part 2: Evolution and potential impact

Fiedler, V. and Arnold, F. and Schlager, H. and Dörnbrack, A. and Pirjola, L. and Stohl, A. (2009) East Asian SO2 pollution plume over Europe âÂ�Â� Part 2: Evolution and potential impact. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 9, pp. 4729-4745.

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Official URL: http://http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/9/4729/2009/acp-9-4729-2009.pdf


We report on the first observation-based case study of an aged East Asian anthropogenic SO2 pollution plume over Europe. Our airborne measurements in that plume detected highly elevated SO2 mole fractions (up to 900 pmol/mol) between about 5000 and 7000m altitude. Here, we focus on investigations of the origin, dispersion, evolution, conversion, and potential impact of the observed excess SO2. In particular, we investigate SO2 conversion to gas-phase sulfuric acid and sulfuric acid aerosols. Our FLEXPART and LAGRANTO model simulations, along with additional trace gas measurements, suggest that the plume originated from East Asian fossil fuel combustion sources and, 8�7 days prior to its arrival over Europe, ascended over the coast region of central East Asia to 9000m altitude, probably in a cyclonic system with an associated warm conveyor belt. During this initial plume ascent a substantial fraction of the initially available SO2 must have escaped from removal by cloud processes. Hereafter, while mostly descending slowly, the plume experienced advection across the North Pacific, North America and the North Atlantic. During its upper troposphere travel, clouds were absent in and above the plume and OH-induced gas-phase conversion of SO2 to gas-phase sulfuric acid (GSA) was operative, followed by GSA nucleation and condensation leading to sulfuric acid aerosol formation and growth. Our AEROFOR model simulations indicate that numerous large sulfuric acid aerosol particles were formed, which at least temporarily, caused substantial horizontal visibility degradation, and which have the potential to act as water vapor condensation nuclei in liquid water cloud formation, already at water vapor supersaturations as low as about 0.1%. Our AEROFOR model simulations also indicate that those fossil fuel combustion generated soot particles, which have survived cloud induced removal during the initial plume ascent, have experienced extensive H2SO4/H2O-coating, during upper troposphere plume travel. This coating may have dramatically altered the morphology and markedly increased the light absorption efficiency of soot particles.

Document Type:Article
Title:East Asian SO2 pollution plume over Europe � Part 2: Evolution and potential impact
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Fiedler, V.DLR
Arnold, F.MPIK, Heidelberg,
Schlager, H.DLR
Dörnbrack, A.DLR
Pirjola, L.Univ. of Helsinki, Helsinki, FIN
Stohl, A.NILU, Kjeller, N
Journal or Publication Title:Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 4729-4745
Keywords:sulfur dioxide, long-range transport, CIMS, INTEX-B
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Atmosphären- und Klimaforschung (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Trace Species
Deposited By: Yasemin Yilmaz
Deposited On:15 Dec 2009 15:40
Last Modified:12 Dec 2013 20:48

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