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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-70
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-70
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 17 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 17 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Atmospheric mercury in the southern hemisphere – Part 1: Trend and inter-annual variations of atmospheric mercury at Cape Point, South Africa, in 2007–2017, and on Amsterdam Island in 2012–2017

Franz Slemr1, Lynwill Martin2, Casper Labuschagne2, Thumeka Mokolo2, Hélène Angot3, Olivier Magand4, Aurélien Dommergue4, Philippe Garat5, Michel Ramonet6, and Johannes Bieser7 Franz Slemr et al.
  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie (MPI), Air Chemistry Division, Hahn-Meitner-Weg 1, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • 2South African Weather Service c/o CSIR, P.O.Box 320, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa
  • 3Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 4Institut des Géosciences de l’Environnement, Univ Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IRD, Grenoble INP, 38400 Grenoble, France
  • 5LJK, Univ Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IRD, Grenoble INP, 38401 Grenoble, France
  • 6Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, LSCE-IPSL (CEA-CNRS-UVSQ), Université Paris-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 7Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG), Institute of Coastal Research, Max-Planck-Str. 1, 21502 Geesthacht, Germany

Abstract. The Minamata Convention on mercury (Hg) entered into force in 2017, committing its 116 parties (as of January 2019) to curb anthropogenic emissions. Monitoring of atmospheric concentrations and trends is an important part of the effectiveness evaluation of the Convention. A few years ago (in 2017) we reported an increasing trend of atmospheric Hg concentrations at the Cape Point Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) station in South Africa (34°21' S, 18°29' E) for the 2007–2015 period. With 2 more years of measurements at Cape Point and the 2012–2017 data from Amsterdam Island (37°48' S, 77°34' E) in the remote southern Indian Ocean, a more complex picture emerges: at Cape Point the upward trend for the 2007–2017 period is still significant but none or slightly downward trend was detected for the period 2012–2017 both at Cape Point and Amsterdam Island. The upward trend at Cape Point is thus driven mainly by the 2007–2014 data. Using ancillary data on 222Rn, CO, O3, CO2, and CH4 from Cape Point and Amsterdam Island the possible reasons for the trend and its change are investigated. In a companion paper this analysis is extended for the Cape Point station by calculations of source and sink regions using backward trajectory analysis.

Franz Slemr et al.

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Short summary
Monitoring of atmospheric mercury (Hg) concentrations is an important part of the effectiveness evaluation of the Minamata Convention on Hg. Hg concentrations in 2012–2017 at Cape Point (CPT), South Africa, and at Amsterdam Island (AMS) in remote Indian Ocean are comparable and no or slightly downward trend was observed at both stations. Over the 2007–2017 period an upward trend was observed at CPT which was driven mainly by the 2007–2014 data. The trend and its change are discussed.
Monitoring of atmospheric mercury (Hg) concentrations is an important part of the effectiveness...
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