Articles | Volume 10, issue 15
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 7315–7324, 2010
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 7315–7324, 2010

  09 Aug 2010

09 Aug 2010

Atmospheric transport of persistent semi-volatile organic chemicals to the Arctic and cold condensation in the mid-troposphere – Part 2: 3-D modeling of episodic atmospheric transport

L. Zhang1, J. Ma2, C. Tian3, Y. Li2, and H. Hung2 L. Zhang et al.
  • 1Lamu Environment, 41 Mountfield Crescent, Thornhill, Ontario L4J 7E9, Canada
  • 2Air Quality Research Division, Environment Canada. 4905 Dufferin Street, Toronto, Ontario M3H 5T4, Canada
  • 3School of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, China

Abstract. Two 3-dimensional global atmospheric transport models for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been employed to investigate the association between the large-scale atmospheric motions and poleward transports of persistent semi-volatile organic chemicals (SVOCs). We examine the modeled daily air concentration of α- and γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) over a period from 1997 through 1999 during which a number of episodic atmospheric transport events were detected in this modeling study. These events provide modeling evidence for improving the interpretation on the cold condensation effect and poleward atmospheric transport of SVOCs in the mid-troposphere. Two episodic transport events of γ-HCH (lindane) to the high Arctic (80–90° N), one from Asian and another from Eurasian sources, are reported in this paper. Both events suggest that the episodic atmospheric transports occurring in the mid-troposphere (e.g. from 3000 m to 5500 m height) are driven by atmospheric horizontal and vertical motions. The association of the transport events with atmospheric circulation is briefly discussed. Strong southerly winds, forced by the evolution of two semi-permanent high pressure systems over mid-high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, play an important role in the long-range transport (LRT) of HCHs to the high latitudes from its sources. Being consistent with the cold condensation effect and poleward atmospheric transport in a mean meridional atmospheric circulation simulated by a 2-D atmospheric transport model, as reported by the first part of this study, this modeling study indicates that cold condensation is likely occurring more intensively in the mid-troposphere where rapid declining air temperature results in condensed phase of the chemical over and near its source regions and where stronger winds convey the chemical more rapidly to the polar region during the episodic poleward atmospheric transport events.

Final-revised paper