Multi-model study of mercury dispersion in the atmosphere: Vertical
distribution of mercury species
Johannes Bieser1,2, Franz Slemr3, Jesse Ambrose4, Carl Brenninkmeijer3, Steve Brooks5,6, Ashu Dastoor7, Francesco DeSimone8, Ralf Ebinghaus1, Christian Gencarelli8, Beate Geyer1, Lynne E. Gratz9, Ian M. Hedgecock8, Daniel Jaffe4,10, Paul Kelley5,11, Che-Jen Lin12, Volker Matthias1, Andrei Ryjkov7, Noelle Selin13,14, Shaojie Song13, Oleg Travnikov15, Andreas Weigelt1,16, Winston Luke5, Xinrong Ren5,11,17, Andeas Zahn18, Xin Yang19, Yun Zhu20, and Nicola Pirrone211Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht, 21052 Geesthacht, Germany 2DLR – Deutsches Luft und Raumfahrtzentrum, Münchener Straße 20, 82234 Weßling, Germany 3Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry (MPI), Hahn-Meitner-Weg 1, 55128 Mainz, Germany 4School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, University of Washington-Bothell, Bothell, WA, USA 5Air Resources Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 5830 University Research Court, College Park, MD 20740, USA 6Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering, University of Tennessee Space Institute, 411 BH Goethert Parkway, Tullahoma, TN 37388, USA 7ECCC – Air Quality Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Dorval, Canada 8CNR-Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research, Division of Rende, Rende, Italy 9Environmental Program, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO, USA 10School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, University of Washington-Bothell, Bothell, WA, USA 11Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, University of Maryland, 5825 University Research Court, College Park, MD 20740, USA 12Center for Advances in Water and Air Quality, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas, USA 13Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA 14Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA 15Meteorological Synthesizing Centre – East of EMEP, Moscow, Russia 16Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), Hamburg, Germany 17Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University, 117 North Woodward Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA 18Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung (IMK-ASF), Karlsruhe Institut für Technologie, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Leopoldshafen, Germany 19British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK 20South China University of Technology, School of Environment and Energy, Guangzhou, China 21CNR Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research, Rome, Italy
Received: 30 Nov 2016 – Accepted for review: 02 Dec 2016 – Discussion started: 06 Dec 2016
Abstract. Atmospheric chemistry and transport of mercury play a key role in the global mercury cycle. However, there are still considerable knowledge gaps concerning the fate of mercury in the atmosphere. This is the second part of a model inter-comparison study investigating the impact of atmospheric chemistry and emissions on mercury in the atmosphere. While the first study focused on ground based observations of mercury concentration and deposition, here we investigate the vertical distribution and speciation of mercury from the planetary boundary layer to the lower stratosphere. So far, there have been few model studies investigating the vertical distribution of mercury, mostly focusing on single aircraft campaigns. Here, we present a first comprehensive analysis based on various aircraft observations in Europe, North America, and on inter-continental flights.
The investigated models proved to be able to reproduce the distribution of total and elemental mercury concentrations in the troposphere including inter-hemispheric trends. One key aspect of the study is the investigation of mercury oxidation in the troposphere. We found that different chemistry schemes were better at reproducing observed oxidized mercury (RM) patterns depending on altitude. High RM concentrations in the upper troposphere could be reproduced with oxidation by bromine while elevated concentrations in the lower troposphere were better reproduced by OH and ozone chemistry. However, the results were not always conclusive as the physical and chemical parametrizations in the chemistry transport models also proved to have a substantial impact on model results.
Bieser, J., Slemr, F., Ambrose, J., Brenninkmeijer, C., Brooks, S., Dastoor, A., DeSimone, F., Ebinghaus, R., Gencarelli, C., Geyer, B., Gratz, L. E., Hedgecock, I. M., Jaffe, D., Kelley, P., Lin, C.-J., Matthias, V., Ryjkov, A., Selin, N., Song, S., Travnikov, O., Weigelt, A., Luke, W., Ren, X., Zahn, A., Yang, X., Zhu, Y., and Pirrone, N.: Multi-model study of mercury dispersion in the atmosphere: Vertical
distribution of mercury species, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-1074, in review, 2016.