Chinese SO2 pollution over Europe – Part 1: Airborne trace gas measurements and source identification by particle dispersion model simulations
1Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, 82234 Wessling, Germany
2Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, (MPIK), Atmospheric Physics Division, P.O. Box 103980, 69029 Heidelberg, Germany
3Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), Dept. Regional and Global Pollution Issues, Kjeller, Norway
Abstract. A large SO2-rich pollution plume of Chinese origin was detected by aircraft based CIMS (Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry) measurements at 3–7.5 km altitude over the North Atlantic on 3 May 2006 during the INTEX (Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment) campaign. Additional trace gases (NO, NOy, CO, H2O) were measured and used for comparison and source identification. All measurements took place aboard the German research aircraft Falcon. The atmospheric SO2 mole fraction was markedly increased inside the plume and reached up to 900 pmol/mol. The measured ratio SO2/NOy of 1.4 suggests combustion of coal or fuel with a very high sulfur content as a source of the excess SO2. Accompanying FLEXPART particle dispersion model simulations indicate that the probed pollution plume originated at low altitudes over densely populated and industrialized areas in eastern China about 8–12 days prior to the measurements.