Transport pathways for Asian pollution outflow over the Pacific: Interannual...

Liu, H., D. Jacob, I. Bey, R. M. Yantosca, B. Duncan, and G. Sachse (2003), Transport pathways for Asian pollution outflow over the Pacific: Interannual and seasonal variations, J. Geophys. Res., 108, 8786, doi:10.1029/2002JD003102.

The meteorological pathways contributing to Asian pollution outflow over the Pacific are examined with a global three-dimensional model analysis of CO observations from the Transport and Chemical Evolution over the Pacific (TRACE-P) aircraft mission (February–April 2001). The model is used also to place the TRACE-P observations in an interannual (1994–2001) and seasonal context. The major process driving Asian pollution outflow in spring is frontal lifting ahead of southeastward-moving cold fronts (the leading edge of cold surges) and transport in the boundary layer behind the cold fronts. Orographic lifting over central and eastern China combines with the cold fronts to promote the transport of Chinese pollution to the free troposphere. Outflow of seasonal biomass burning in Southeast Asia during spring takes place mostly by deep convection but also by northeastward transport and frontal lifting, mixing with the anthropogenic outflow. Boundary layer outflow over the western Pacific is largely devoid of biomass burning influence. European and African (biomass burning) plumes in Asian outflow during TRACE-P were weak (<60 ppbv and 20 ppbv CO, respectively) and were not detectable in the observations because of superposition of the much larger Asian pollution signal. Spring 2001 (La Niña) was characterized by unusually frequent cold surge events in the Asian Pacific rim and strong convection in Southeast Asia, leading to unusually strong boundary layer outflow of anthropogenic emissions and convective outflow of biomass burning emissions in the upper troposphere. The Asian outflow flux of CO to the Pacific is found to vary seasonally by a factor of 3–4 (maximum in March and minimum in summer). The March maximum results from frequent cold surge events and seasonal biomass burning emissions.

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Tropospheric Composition Program (TCP)