Articles | Volume 9, issue 13
14 Jul 2009
 | 14 Jul 2009

Equilibrium of sinks and sources of sulphate over Europe: comparison between a six-year simulation and EMEP observations

M. Ménégoz, D. Salas y Melia, M. Legrand, H. Teyssèdre, M. Michou, V.-H. Peuch, M. Martet, B. Josse, and I. Dombrowski-Etchevers

Abstract. Sulphate distributions were simulated with a global chemistry transport model. A chemical scheme describing the sulphur cycle and the parameterisations of the main sinks for sulphate aerosols were included in the model. A six-year simulation was conducted from the years 2000 to 2005, driven by the ECMWF operational analyses. Emissions come from an inventory representative of the year 2000. This paper focuses on the analysis of the sulphate sinks and sources over Europe for the entire period of simulation. The Sulphate burden shows a marked annual cycle, which is the result of the annual variations of the aqueous and gaseous chemistry. Regionally, the monthly mean aerosol burden can vary by a factor of 2 from one year to another, because of different weather conditions, driving chemistry, transport and wet deposition of sulphate aerosols. Sulphate ground concentrations, scavenging fluxes and precipitation modelled were compared with observations. The model represents quite well sulphate fields over Europe, but has a general tendency to overestimate sulphate ground concentrations, in particular over Northern Europe. We assume that it is linked to the representation of the scavenging fluxes, which are underestimated. We suggest that uncertainties in modelled precipitation explain only partially the underestimation of the scavenging fluxes in the model.

Final-revised paper