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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 12 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 12 Jul 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

The influence of residential wood combustion on the concentrations of PM2.5 in four Nordic cities

Jaakko Kukkonen1, Susana López-Aparicio2, David Segersson3, Camilla Geels4, Leena Kangas1, Mari Kauhaniemi1, Androniki Maragkidou1, Anne Jensen4, Timo Assmuth5, Ari Karppinen1, Mikhail Sofiev1, Heidi Hellen1, Kari Riikonen1, Juha Nikmo1, Anu Kousa6, Jarkko V. Niemi6, Niko Karvosenoja5, Gabriela Sousa Santos2, Ingrid Sundvor7, Ulas Im4, Jesper H. Christensen4, Ole-Kenneth Nielsen4, Marlene S. Plejdrup4, Jacob Klenø Nøjgaard4, Gunnar Omstedt3, Camilla Andersson3, Bertil Forsberg8, and Jørgen Brandt4 Jaakko Kukkonen et al.
  • 1Finnish Meteorological Institute, Erik Palmenin aukio 1, P.O. Box 503, 00101, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Instituttveien 18, P.O. Box 100, 2027 Kjeller, Norway
  • 3Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, SE-60176 Norrköping, Sweden
  • 4Aarhus University, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
  • 5Finnish Environment Institute, Latokartanonkaari 11, FI-00790 Helsinki
  • 6Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority, Ilmalantori 1, FI-00240 Helsinki
  • 7Institute of Transport Economics, Gaustadalléen 21, 0349 Oslo, Norway
  • 8Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Abstract. Residential wood combustion (RWC) is an important contributor to air quality in numerous regions worldwide. This study is the first extensive evaluation of the influence of RWC on ambient air quality in several Nordic cities. We have analyzed the emissions and concentrations of PM2.5 in cities within four Nordic countries: the metropolitan areas of Copenhagen, Oslo and Helsinki, and Umeå. We have evaluated the emissions for the relevant urban source categories and modelled atmospheric dispersion on regional and urban scales. The emission inventories for RWC were based on local surveys, the amount of wood combusted, combustion technologies and other relevant factors. The accuracy of the predicted concentrations was evaluated based on urban concentration measurements. The predicted annual average concentrations ranged spatially from 4 to 7 μg/m3 (2011), from 6 to 10 μg/m3 (2013), from 4 to more than 13 μg/m3 (2013) and from 9 to more than 13 μg/m3 (2014), in Umeå, Helsinki, Oslo and Copenhagen, respectively. The higher concentrations in Copenhagen were mainly caused by the higher long-range transported background. The annual average fractions of PM2.5 concentrations attributed to RWC within the considered urban regions ranged spatially from 0 to 15 %, from 0 to 20 %, from 8 to 30 % and from 0 to 60 % in Helsinki, Copenhagen, Umeå and Oslo, respectively. In particular, the contributions of RWC in central Oslo were larger than 40 % as annual averages. In Oslo, wood combustion was used mainly for the heating of larger blocks of flats. On the contrary, in Helsinki, RWC was solely used in smaller detached houses. In Copenhagen and Helsinki, the highest fractions occurred outside the city center in the suburban areas. In Umeå, the highest fractions occurred both in the city centre and its surroundings. Stricter and more efficient emission regulations should be set in the Nordic countries with respect to RWC, especially in urban areas, for the protection of human health.

Jaakko Kukkonen et al.
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Jaakko Kukkonen et al.
Jaakko Kukkonen et al.
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Short summary
Residential wood combustion can cause substantial emissions of fine particulate matter, and adverse health effects. This study has for the first time evaluated the impacts of residential wood combustion in a harmonious manner in four Nordic cities. Wood combustion caused major shares of fine particle concentrations in Oslo (up to 60 %) and Umeå (up to 30 %), and also notable shares in Copenhagen (up to 20 %) and Helsinki (up to 15 %). More efficient emission regulations regarding wood combustion.
Residential wood combustion can cause substantial emissions of fine particulate matter, and...