Articles | Volume 8, issue 17
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 5353–5372, 2008
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 5353–5372, 2008

  10 Sep 2008

10 Sep 2008

A multi-model assessment of pollution transport to the Arctic

D. T. Shindell1, M. Chin2, F. Dentener3, R. M. Doherty4, G. Faluvegi1, A. M. Fiore5, P. Hess6, D. M. Koch1, I. A. MacKenzie4, M. G. Sanderson7, M. G. Schultz8, M. Schulz9, D. S. Stevenson4, H. Teich1, C. Textor9, O. Wild10, D. J. Bergmann11, I. Bey12, H. Bian13, C. Cuvelier3, B. N. Duncan13, G. Folberth12, L. W. Horowitz5, J. Jonson14, J. W. Kaminski15, E. Marmer3, R. Park16, K. J. Pringle*,7, S. Schroeder8, S. Szopa9, T. Takemura17, G. Zeng18, T. J. Keating19, and A. Zuber20 D. T. Shindell et al.
  • 1NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
  • 2NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 3European Commission, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy
  • 4School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • 5NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ, USA
  • 6National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 7Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
  • *now at: Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 8ICG-2, Forschungszentrum-Jülich, Germany
  • 9Laboratoire des Science du Climat et de l'Environnement, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 10Department of Environmental Science, Lancaster University, UK
  • 11Atmospheric Science Division, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, CA, USA
  • 12Laboratoire de Modélisation de la Chimie Atmosphérique, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 13Goddard Earth Science & Technology Center, U. Maryland Baltimore County, MD, USA
  • 14Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway
  • 15Center for Research in Earth and Space Science, York University, Canada
  • 16Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA and School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
  • 17Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University, Japan
  • 18National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • 19Office of Policy Analysis and Review, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC, USA
  • 20Environment Directorate General, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium

Abstract. We examine the response of Arctic gas and aerosol concentrations to perturbations in pollutant emissions from Europe, East and South Asia, and North America using results from a coordinated model intercomparison. These sensitivities to regional emissions (mixing ratio change per unit emission) vary widely across models and species. Intermodel differences are systematic, however, so that the relative importance of different regions is robust. North America contributes the most to Arctic ozone pollution. For aerosols and CO, European emissions dominate at the Arctic surface but East Asian emissions become progressively more important with altitude, and are dominant in the upper troposphere. Sensitivities show strong seasonality: surface sensitivities typically maximize during boreal winter for European and during spring for East Asian and North American emissions. Mid-tropospheric sensitivities, however, nearly always maximize during spring or summer for all regions. Deposition of black carbon (BC) onto Greenland is most sensitive to North American emissions. North America and Europe each contribute ~40% of total BC deposition to Greenland, with ~20% from East Asia. Elsewhere in the Arctic, both sensitivity and total BC deposition are dominated by European emissions. Model diversity for aerosols is especially large, resulting primarily from differences in aerosol physical and chemical processing (including removal). Comparison of modeled aerosol concentrations with observations indicates problems in the models, and perhaps, interpretation of the measurements. For gas phase pollutants such as CO and O3, which are relatively well-simulated, the processes contributing most to uncertainties depend on the source region and altitude examined. Uncertainties in the Arctic surface CO response to emissions perturbations are dominated by emissions for East Asian sources, while uncertainties in transport, emissions, and oxidation are comparable for European and North American sources. At higher levels, model-to-model variations in transport and oxidation are most important. Differences in photochemistry appear to play the largest role in the intermodel variations in Arctic ozone sensitivity, though transport also contributes substantially in the mid-troposphere.

Final-revised paper