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Volume 16, issue 3
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 1823-1835, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-1823-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 1823-1835, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-1823-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 17 Feb 2016

Research article | 17 Feb 2016

Evaluation of the size segregation of elemental carbon (EC) emission in Europe: influence on the simulation of EC long-range transportation

Ying Chen1,2, Ya-Fang Cheng2, Stephan Nordmann2,3, Wolfram Birmili1,3, Hugo A. C. Denier van der Gon4, Nan Ma1,2, Ralf Wolke1, Birgit Wehner1, Jia Sun1, Gerald Spindler1, Qing Mu2, Ulrich Pöschl2, Hang Su2, and Alfred Wiedensohler1 Ying Chen et al.
  • 1Leibniz-Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 3German Environment Agency, Dessau-Roßlau, Germany
  • 4TNO, dept. Climate, Air, and sustainability, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Abstract. Elemental Carbon (EC) has a significant impact on human health and climate change. In order to evaluate the size segregation of EC emission in the EUCAARI inventory and investigate its influence on the simulation of EC long-range transportation in Europe, we used the fully coupled online Weather Research and Forecasting/Chemistry model (WRF-Chem) at a resolution of 2 km focusing on a region in Germany, in conjunction with a high-resolution EC emission inventory. The ground meteorology conditions, vertical structure and wind pattern were well reproduced by the model. The simulations of particle number and/or mass size distributions were evaluated with observations at the central European background site Melpitz. The fine mode particle concentration was reasonably well simulated, but the coarse mode was substantially overestimated by the model mainly due to the plume with high EC concentration in coarse mode emitted by a nearby point source. The comparisons between simulated EC and Multi-angle Absorption Photometers (MAAP) measurements at Melpitz, Leipzig-TROPOS and Bösel indicated that the coarse mode EC (ECc) emitted from the nearby point sources might be overestimated by a factor of 2–10. The fraction of ECc was overestimated in the emission inventory by about 10–30 % for Russia and 5–10 % for Eastern Europe (e.g., Poland and Belarus). This incorrect size-dependent EC emission results in a shorter atmospheric life time of EC particles and inhibits the long-range transport of EC. A case study showed that this effect caused an underestimation of 20–40 % in the EC mass concentration in Germany under eastern wind pattern.

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We evaluated the EC point sources in Germany with high-resolution simulation by WRF-Chem, and find out that point sources contribute too much EC in the coarse mode aerosol mass. The area emissions in Eastern Europe and Russia also allocate too much EC emission in coarse mode in the EUCAARI EC emission inventory. Because of the shorter life time of coarse mode EC, about 20–40 % less EC can be transported to Melpitz from Eastern Europe. Size segregation information is important for EC inventories.
We evaluated the EC point sources in Germany with high-resolution simulation by WRF-Chem, and...
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