Continental anthropogenic primary particle number emissions
- 1Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
- 2International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria
- 3Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Helsinki, Finland
- 4TNO, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Abstract. Atmospheric aerosol particle number concentrations impact our climate and health in ways different from those of aerosol mass concentrations. However, the global, current and future anthropogenic particle number emissions and their size distributions are so far poorly known. In this article, we present the implementation of particle number emission factors and the related size distributions in the GAINS (Greenhouse Gas–Air Pollution Interactions and Synergies) model. This implementation allows for global estimates of particle number emissions under different future scenarios, consistent with emissions of other pollutants and greenhouse gases. In addition to determining the general particulate number emissions, we also describe a method to estimate the number size distributions of the emitted black carbon particles. The first results show that the sources dominating the particle number emissions are different to those dominating the mass emissions. The major global number source is road traffic, followed by residential combustion of biofuels and coal (especially in China, India and Africa), coke production (Russia and China), and industrial combustion and processes. The size distributions of emitted particles differ across the world, depending on the main sources: in regions dominated by traffic and industry, the number size distribution of emissions peaks in diameters range from 20 to 50 nm, whereas in regions with intensive biofuel combustion and/or agricultural waste burning, the emissions of particles with diameters around 100 nm are dominant. In the baseline (current legislation) scenario, the particle number emissions in Europe, Northern and Southern Americas, Australia, and China decrease until 2030, whereas especially for India, a strong increase is estimated. The results of this study provide input for modelling of the future changes in aerosol–cloud interactions as well as particle number related adverse health effects, e.g. in response to tightening emission regulations. However, there are significant uncertainties in these current emission estimates and the key actions for decreasing the uncertainties are pointed out.