Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 11577-11614, 2010
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/10/11577/2010/
doi:10.5194/acpd-10-11577-2010
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Pathways of PFOA to the Arctic: variabilities and contributions of oceanic currents and atmospheric transport and chemistry sources
I. Stemmler1 and G. Lammel1,2
1Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
2Masaryk University, Research Centre for Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Brno, Czech Republic

Abstract. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and other perfluorinated compounds are industrial chemicals in use since decades which resist degradation in the environment and seem to accumulate in polar regions. Transport of PFOA was modeled using a spatially resolved global multicompartment model including fully coupled three-dimensional ocean and atmosphere general circulation models, and two-dimensional top soil, vegetation surfaces, and sea ice compartments. In addition to primary emissions, the formation of PFOA in the atmosphere from degradation of 8:2 fluorotelomer alcohol was included as a PFOA source. Oceanic transport, delivered 14.8±5.0 (8–23) t a−1 to the Arctic, strongly influenced by changes in water transport, which determined its interannual variability. This pathway constituted the dominant source of PFOA to the Arctic. Formation of PFOA in the atmosphere lead to episodic transport events (timescale of days) into the Arctic with small spatial extent. Deposition in the polar region was found to be dominated by wet deposition over land, and shows maxima in boreal winter. The total atmospheric deposition of PFOA in the Arctic in the 1990s was ≈1 t a−1, much higher than previously estimated, and is dominated by primary emissions rather than secondarily formed.

Citation: Stemmler, I. and Lammel, G.: Pathways of PFOA to the Arctic: variabilities and contributions of oceanic currents and atmospheric transport and chemistry sources, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 11577-11614, doi:10.5194/acpd-10-11577-2010, 2010.
 
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