Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 9577-9591, 2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
27 Aug 2015
In situ, satellite measurement and model evidence on the dominant regional contribution to fine particulate matter levels in the Paris megacity
M. Beekmann1, A. S. H. Prévôt2, F. Drewnick3, J. Sciare4,a, S. N. Pandis5, H. A. C. Denier van der Gon6, M. Crippa2, F. Freutel3, L. Poulain7, V. Ghersi8, E. Rodriguez9, S. Beirle10, P. Zotter2,b, S.-L. von der Weiden-Reinmüller3, M. Bressi4, C. Fountoukis5, H. Petetin1,8, S. Szidat11, J. Schneider3, A. Rosso8, I. El Haddad2, A. Megaritis5, Q. J. Zhang1,12, V. Michoud1,20, J. G. Slowik2, S. Moukhtar8, P. Kolmonen9, A. Stohl13, S. Eckhardt13, A. Borbon1, V. Gros4, N. Marchand14, J. L. Jaffrezo15, A. Schwarzenboeck16, A. Colomb1,16, A. Wiedensohler7, S. Borrmann3,17, M. Lawrence18,c, A. Baklanov19, and U. Baltensperger2 1LISA/IPSL, Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil (UPEC) et Université Paris Diderot (UPD), Créteil, France
2Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, PSI, Villigen, Switzerland
3Particle Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
4Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE/IPSL), Laboratoire CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
5Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences (ICEHT), Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), Patra, Greece
6Department of Climate, Air and Sustainability, TNO, Utrecht, the Netherlands
7Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
8AIRPARIF, Agence de Surveillance de la Qualité de l'Air, Paris, France
9Climate Change Unit, Finnish Meteorological Institute, 00101, Finland
10Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Satellite Group, Mainz, Germany
11Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry & Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
12Aria Technologies, Boulogne Billancourt, France
13NILU – Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway
14Laboratoire Chimie Provence, Equipe Instrumentation et Réactivité Atmosphérique (IRA), Université d'Aix-Marseille-CNRS, Marseille, France
15Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement (LGGE), Université Joseph Fourier, CNRS, Grenoble, France
16Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique (LaMP), Université Blaise Pascal, CNRS, Aubière, France
17Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany
18Department of Atmospheric Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
19Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), Research Department, Copenhagen, Denmark
20Mines de Douai, Douai, France
anow at: Energy Environment Water Research Center (EEWRC), The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
bnow at: Lucerne School of Engineering and Architecture, Bioenergy Research, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, 6048 Horw, Switzerland
cnow at: Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam, Germany
Abstract. A detailed characterization of air quality in the megacity of Paris (France) during two 1-month intensive campaigns and from additional 1-year observations revealed that about 70 % of the urban background fine particulate matter (PM) is transported on average into the megacity from upwind regions. This dominant influence of regional sources was confirmed by in situ measurements during short intensive and longer-term campaigns, aerosol optical depth (AOD) measurements from ENVISAT, and modeling results from PMCAMx and CHIMERE chemistry transport models. While advection of sulfate is well documented for other megacities, there was surprisingly high contribution from long-range transport for both nitrate and organic aerosol. The origin of organic PM was investigated by comprehensive analysis of aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS), radiocarbon and tracer measurements during two intensive campaigns. Primary fossil fuel combustion emissions constituted less than 20 % in winter and 40 % in summer of carbonaceous fine PM, unexpectedly small for a megacity. Cooking activities and, during winter, residential wood burning are the major primary organic PM sources. This analysis suggests that the major part of secondary organic aerosol is of modern origin, i.e., from biogenic precursors and from wood burning. Black carbon concentrations are on the lower end of values encountered in megacities worldwide, but still represent an issue for air quality. These comparatively low air pollution levels are due to a combination of low emissions per inhabitant, flat terrain, and a meteorology that is in general not conducive to local pollution build-up. This revised picture of a megacity only being partially responsible for its own average and peak PM levels has important implications for air pollution regulation policies.

Citation: Beekmann, M., Prévôt, A. S. H., Drewnick, F., Sciare, J., Pandis, S. N., Denier van der Gon, H. A. C., Crippa, M., Freutel, F., Poulain, L., Ghersi, V., Rodriguez, E., Beirle, S., Zotter, P., von der Weiden-Reinmüller, S.-L., Bressi, M., Fountoukis, C., Petetin, H., Szidat, S., Schneider, J., Rosso, A., El Haddad, I., Megaritis, A., Zhang, Q. J., Michoud, V., Slowik, J. G., Moukhtar, S., Kolmonen, P., Stohl, A., Eckhardt, S., Borbon, A., Gros, V., Marchand, N., Jaffrezo, J. L., Schwarzenboeck, A., Colomb, A., Wiedensohler, A., Borrmann, S., Lawrence, M., Baklanov, A., and Baltensperger, U.: In situ, satellite measurement and model evidence on the dominant regional contribution to fine particulate matter levels in the Paris megacity, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 9577-9591,, 2015.
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
A detailed characterization of air quality in the Paris (France) agglomeration, a megacity, during two summer and winter intensive campaigns and from additional 1-year observations, revealed that about 70% of the fine particulate matter (PM) at urban background is transported into the megacity from upwind regions. Unexpectedly, a major part of organic PM is of modern origin (woodburning and cooking activities, secondary formation from biogenic VOC).
A detailed characterization of air quality in the Paris (France) agglomeration, a megacity,...