29 Jul 2021

29 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Long-range transport of anthropogenic air pollutants into the marine air: Insight into fine particle transport and chloride depletion on sea salts

Liang Xu1, Xiaohuan Liu2, Huiwang Gao2, Xiaohong Yao2, Daizhou Zhang3, Lei Bi1, Lei Liu1, Jian Zhang1, Yinxiao Zhang1, Yuanyuan Wang1, Qi Yuan2, and Weijun Li1 Liang Xu et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, School of Earth Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Marine Environment and Ecology, Ministry of Education, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
  • 3Faculty of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences, Prefectural University of Kumamoto, Kumamoto 862-8502, Japan

Abstract. Long-range transport of anthropogenic air pollutants from East Asia can affect the downwind marine air quality during spring and winter. Long-range transport of continental air pollutants and their interaction with sea salt aerosols (SSA) significantly modify the radiative forcing of marine aerosols and influence ocean biogeochemical cycling. Previous studies poorly characterize variations of aerosol particles along with air mass transport from the continental edge to the remote ocean. Here, the research ship R/V Dongfanghong 2 traveled from the eastern China seas (ECS) to the northwestern Pacific Ocean (NWPO) to understand what and how air pollutants were transported from the highly polluted continental air to clean marine air in spring. A transmission electron microscope (TEM) was used to find the long-range transported anthropogenic particles and the possible Cl-depletion phenomenon of SSA in marine air. Primary and secondary anthropogenic aerosols were identified and dramatically declined from 87 % to 8 % by number from the ECS to remote NWPO. For the SSA aging, 86 % of SSA particles in the ECS were identified as fully aged, while the proportion of fully aged SSA particles in the NWPO decreased to 31 %. The result highlights that anthropogenic acidic gases in the troposphere (e.g., SO2, NOx, and volatile organic compounds) were transported longer distances compared to the anthropogenic aerosol and could exert a significant impact on marine aerosols in the NWPO. These results show that anthropogenic particles and gases from East Asia significantly perturb aerosol chemistry in marine air. The optical properties and cloud condensation nucleation of the modified SSA particles should be incorporated into the more accurately modeling of clouds in the ECS and NWPO in spring and winter.

Liang Xu et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-623', Anonymous Referee #1, 01 Sep 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-623', Anonymous Referee #2, 15 Sep 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on acp-2021-623', Anonymous Referee #3, 22 Sep 2021

Liang Xu et al.


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Short summary
We quantified different types of marine aerosols and explored the Cl-depletion of sea salt aerosol (SSA) in the eastern China seas and the northwestern Pacific Ocean. We found that anthropogenic acidic gases in the troposphere were transported longer distances compared to the anthropogenic aerosols and could significantly impact remote marine aerosols. Meanwhile, variations of chloride depletion in SSA can serve as a potential indicator for anthropogenic gaseous pollutants in remote marine air.