, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 946-959
Date: 13 Nov 2008

Characteristics of anthropogenic sulfate and carbonaceous aerosols over East Asia: Regional modeling and observation

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Abstract

The authors present spatial and temporal characteristics of anthropogenic sulfate and carbonaceous aerosols over East Asia using a 3-D coupled regional climate-chemistry-aerosol model, and compare the simulation with the limited aerosol observations over the region. The aerosol module consists of SO2, SO 4 2− , hydrophobic and hydrophilic black carbon (BC) and organic carbon compounds (OC), including emission, advections, dry and wet deposition, and chemical production and conversion. The simulated patterns of SO2 are closely tied to its emission rate, with sharp gradients between the highly polluted regions and more rural areas. Chemical conversion (especially in the aqueous phase) and dry deposition remove 60% and 30% of the total SO2 emission, respectively. The SO 4 2− shows less horizontal gradient and seasonality than SO2, with wet deposition (60%) and export (27%) being two major sinks. Carbonaceous aerosols are spatially smoother than sulfur species. The aging process transforms more than 80% of hydrophobic BC and OC to hydrophilic components, which are removed by wet deposition (60%) and export (30%). The simulated spatial and seasonal SO 4 2− , BC and OC aerosol concentrations and total aerosol optical depth are generally consistent with the observations in rural areas over East Asia, with lower bias in simulated OC aerosols, likely due to the underestimation of anthropogenic OC emissions and missing treatment of secondary organic carbon. The results suggest that our model is a useful tool for characterizing the anthropogenic aerosol cycle and for assessing its potential climatic and environmental effects in future studies.