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Impact of transpacific aerosol on air quality over the United States: A...

Tao, Z., H. Yu, and M. Chin (2016), Impact of transpacific aerosol on air quality over the United States: A perspective from aerosoleclouderadiation interactions, Atmos. Environ., 125, 48-60, doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.10.083.
Abstract: 

Observations have well established that aerosols from various sources in Asia, Europe, and Africa can travel across the Pacific and reach the contiguous United States (U.S.) at least on episodic bases throughout a year, with a maximum import in spring. The imported aerosol not only can serve as an additional source to regional air pollution (e.g., direct input), but also can influence regional air quality through the aerosoleclouderadiation (ACR) interactions that change local and regional meteorology. This study assessed impacts of the transpacific aerosol on air quality, focusing on surface ozone and PM2.5, over the U.S. using the NASA Unified Weather Research Forecast model. Based on the results of 3month (April to June of 2010) simulations, the impact of direct input (as an additional source) of transpacific aerosol caused an increase of surface PM2.5 concentration by approximately 1.5 mg m-3 over the west coast and about 0.5 mg m-3 over the east coast of the U.S. By influencing key meteorological processes through the ACR interactions, the transpacific aerosol exerted a significant effect on both surface PM2.5 (±6 mg m-3) and ozone (±12 ppbv) over the central and eastern U.S. This suggests that the transpacific transport of aerosol could either improve or deteriorate local air quality and complicate local effort toward the compliance with the U.S. National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

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Research Program: 
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)
Modeling Analysis and Prediction Program (MAP)