Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 7, 14265-14294, 2007
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Black carbon concentration trends in Helsinki during 1996–2005
L. Järvi1, H. Junninen1, A. Karppinen2, R. Hillamo2, A. Virkkula2, T. Mäkelä2, T. Pakkanen2, and M. Kulmala1
1Department of Physical Sciences, University of Helsinki, P. O. Box 64, 00014, University of Helsinki, Finland
2Finnisn Meteorological Institute, Erik Palmenin aukio 1, 00560 Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. The black carbon (BC) concentration trends were studied during ten years in Helsinki, Finland. Measurements were made in three campaigns between 1996 and 2005 at an urban area locating two kilometres from the centre of Helsinki. The first campaign was from November 1996 to June 1997, the second from September 2000 to May 2001 and the third from March 2004 to October 2005. In this study, only data from winter and spring months was analysed. The effect of traffic and meteorological variables on the measured BC concentrations was studied by means of a multiple regression analysis, where the meteorological data was obtained from a meteorological pre-processing model (MPP-FMI).

During the ten years, the campaign median BC concentrations were found to decrease slightly from 1.11 to 1.00 μg m−3. The lowest campaign median concentration (0.93 μg m−3) was measured during the second campaign in 2000–2001, when also the lowest traffic rates were measured. The strongest decrease between campaigns 1 and 3 was observed during weekday daytimes, when the traffic rates are highest. The variables affecting the measured BC concentrations most were traffic, wind speed and mixing height. On weekdays, traffic had clearly the most important influence and on weekends the effect of wind speed diluted the effect of traffic. The affecting variables and their influence on the BC concentration were similar in winter and spring. The separate examination of the three campaigns showed that the effect of traffic on the BC concentrations had decreased during the studied years. This reduction was caused by cleaner emissions from vehicles, since between years 1996 and 2005 the traffic rates had increased. A rough estimate gave that vehicle number-scaled BC mass concentrations have decreased from 0.0028 to 0.0020 μg m−3 between campaigns 1 and 3.

Citation: Järvi, L., Junninen, H., Karppinen, A., Hillamo, R., Virkkula, A., Mäkelä, T., Pakkanen, T., and Kulmala, M.: Black carbon concentration trends in Helsinki during 1996–2005, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 7, 14265-14294, doi:10.5194/acpd-7-14265-2007, 2007.
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