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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/acp-2017-303
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
04 Apr 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Global source attribution of sulfate concentration, direct and indirect radiative forcing
Yang Yang1, Hailong Wang1, Steven J. Smith2, Richard Easter1, Po-Lun Ma1, Yun Qian1, Hongbin Yu3, Can Li3,4, and Philip J. Rasch1 1Atmospheric Science and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, USA
2Joint Global Change Research Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, College Park, Maryland, USA
3NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
4Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
Abstract. The global source-receptor relationships of sulfate concentration, direct and indirect radiative forcing (DRF and IRF) from sixteen regions/sectors for years 2010–2014 are examined in this study through utilizing a sulfur source-tagging capability implemented in the Community Earth System Model (CESM) with winds nudged to reanalysis data. Sulfate concentrations are mostly contributed by local emissions in regions with high emissions, while over regions with relatively low SO2 emissions, the near-surface sulfate concentrations are primarily attributed to non-local sources from long-range transport. The export of SO2 and sulfate from Europe contributes 16–20 % of near-surface sulfate concentrations over North Africa, Russia/Belarus/Ukraine (RBU) region and Central Asia. Sources from the Middle East account for 15–24 % of sulfate over North Africa, Southern Africa and Central Asia in winter and autumn, and 19 % over South Asia in spring. Sources in RBU account for 21–42 % of sulfate concentrations over Central Asia. East Asia accounts for about 50 % of sulfate over Southeast Asia in winter and autumn, 15 % over RBU in summer, and 11 % over North America in spring. South Asia contributes to 11–24 % of sulfate over Southeast Asia in winter and spring. Regional source efficiencies of sulfate concentrations are higher over regions with dry atmospheric conditions and less export, suggesting that lifetime of aerosols, together with regional export, is important in determining regional air quality. The simulated global total sulfate DRF is −0.42 W m−2, with  0.31 W m−2 contributed by anthropogenic sulfate and −0.11 W m−2 contributed by natural sulfate, relative to a state with no sulfur emissions. In the Southern Hemisphere tropics, dimethyl sulfide (DMS) contributes 17–84 % to the total DRF. East Asia has the largest contribution of 20–30 % over the Northern Hemisphere mid- and high-latitudes. A 20 % perturbation of sulfate and its precursor emissions gives a sulfate incremental IRF of −0.44 W m−2. DMS has the largest contribution, explaining −0.23 W m−2 of the global sulfate incremental IRF. Incremental IRF over regions in the Southern Hemisphere with low background aerosols is more sensitive to emission perturbation than those over the polluted Northern Hemisphere.

Citation: Yang, Y., Wang, H., Smith, S. J., Easter, R., Ma, P.-L., Qian, Y., Yu, H., Li, C., and Rasch, P. J.: Global source attribution of sulfate concentration, direct and indirect radiative forcing, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2017-303, in review, 2017.
Yang Yang et al.
Yang Yang et al.
Yang Yang et al.

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Short summary
Sulfate is an important aerosol that has a significant impact on air quality and climate. Local sulfate pollution could result from remote influences, making domestic mitigation efforts inefficient. Using the Community Earth System Model with a newly implemented sulfur source-tagging technique, we found over regions with relatively low SO2 emissions, the near-surface sulfate concentrations are primarily attributed to non-local sources from long-range transport.
Sulfate is an important aerosol that has a significant impact on air quality and climate. Local...
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