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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2016-673
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2016-673
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 09 Sep 2016

Submitted as: research article | 09 Sep 2016

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). The revised manuscript was not accepted.

Synoptic perspectives on pollutant transport patterns observed by satellites over East Asia: Case studies with a conceptual model

Hyun Cheol Kim1,2, Soontae Kim3, Seok-Woo Son4, Pius Lee1, Chun-Sil Jin5, Eunhye Kim3, Byeong-Uk Kim6, Fong Ngan1,2, Changhan Bae3, Chang-Keun Song7, and Ariel Stein1 Hyun Cheol Kim et al.
  • 1Air Resources Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, College Park, MD
  • 2Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
  • 3Department of Environmental and Safety Engineering, Ajou University, Suwon, Korea
  • 4Seoul National University, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul, Korea
  • 5National Centers for Environmental Prediction, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, College Park, MD
  • 6Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Atlanta, GA
  • 7National Institute of Environmental Research, Incheon, Korea

Abstract. We demonstrate that daily pollutant transport patterns in East Asia are visible from satellite images when inspected with corresponding synoptic weather analyses. Transport pathways of air pollutants in East Asia are investigated using satellite observations, surface weather charts, and chemical-transport model simulations. It is found that during cool season (fall to spring), pollutant transports in East Asia are largely determined by synoptic weather patterns associated with high pressure system over southern China, which is extended from the Siberia High, and low pressure system over Manchuria, which is initiated by Altai-Sayan cyclogenesis. Based on the relative location and strength of these weather systems, three types of synoptic weather patterns that may contribute to pollutants transport in East Asia, especially in China and Korea, are identified: i.e., (1) a strengthening of the Siberian High and its southeastward propagation; (2) a high-pressure system over southern China followed by a frontal passage associated with a northern low-pressure system; and (3) a stagnant high-pressure system over southern China. For all three patterns, the high-pressure system in southern China is essential for the development of regional air pollution, while frontal activities associated with low-pressure system provide a forcing mechanism to transport those pollutants eastward or southeastward. Observed and simulated surface PM distributions show good agreement in both aerosol optical depth and NO2 column density further implying that anthropogenic emissions also contribute to regional events of high surface PM concentrations. It is argued that the quasi-periodic migration of synoptic weather systems in East Asia works as an efficient pump of pollutants; i.e., regional air pollutions developed under high-pressure systems are transported downstream by low-pressure systems.

Hyun Cheol Kim et al.
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Hyun Cheol Kim et al.
Hyun Cheol Kim et al.
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Short summary
In recent years, frequent occurrence of severe haze events in East Asia is one of the most serious public concerns in this region. We demonstrate that daily pollutant transport patterns in East Asia are visible from satellite images when inspected with corresponding synoptic weather analyses. Our manuscript focuses on the possible role of meteorology, especially by the routine passages of synoptic systems, on the production and removal of regional pollution in East Asia.
In recent years, frequent occurrence of severe haze events in East Asia is one of the most...
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