Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution 2010

Part A - Ozone and Particulate Matter

image of Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution 2010
This is one part of a four-volume set that presents a state-of-the-science assessment of the intercontinental transport of air pollutants across the Northern Hemisphere. The first three volumes are technical assessments of the state-of-science with respect to intercontinental transport of ozone and particulate matter, mercury, and persistent organic pollutants. The fourth volume is a synthesis of the main findings and recommendations of Parts A, B, and C organized around a series of policy-relevant questions that were identified at the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution’s first meeting.




Observations from the ground, aircraft, and satellites provide a wealth of evidence that ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM) concentrations throughout the Northern Hemisphere are influenced by intercontinental and hemispheric transport of pollutants. Transport in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes is dominated by the westerly winds that transport emissions from East Asia across the North Pacific Ocean to North America, from North America across the North Atlantic Ocean to Europe, and from Europe into the Arctic and central Asia. The signature of long-range pollutant transport in measurements made downwind of sources depends on the lifetime of the particular pollutant. Discrete plumes of enhanced concentrations characterize pollutants with short lifetimes and no photochemical sources, while continuous distributions of concentrations represent transport of pollutants with longer lifetimes. In the latter case, the entire troposphere can be envisioned as completely filled with plumes of continuously varying concentrations in the process of intermixing and dispersing.


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