Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 8903-8922, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-8903-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
25 Jul 2017
Global source attribution of sulfate concentration and direct and indirect radiative forcing
Yang Yang1, Hailong Wang1, Steven J. Smith2, Richard Easter1, Po-Lun Ma1, Yun Qian1, Hongbin Yu3, Can Li3,4, and Philip J. Rasch1 1Atmospheric Science and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, USA
2Joint Global Change Research Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, College Park, Maryland, USA
3NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
4Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
Abstract. The global source–receptor relationships of sulfate concentrations, and direct and indirect radiative forcing (DRF and IRF) from 16 regions/sectors for years 2010–2014 are examined in this study through utilizing a sulfur source-tagging capability implemented in the Community Earth System Model (CESM) with winds nudged to reanalysis data. Sulfate concentrations are mostly contributed by local emissions in regions with high emissions, while over regions with relatively low SO2 emissions, the near-surface sulfate concentrations are primarily attributed to non-local sources from long-range transport. Regional source efficiencies of sulfate concentrations are higher over regions with dry atmospheric conditions and less export, suggesting that lifetime of aerosols, together with regional export, is important in determining regional air quality. The simulated global total sulfate DRF is −0.42 W m−2, with −0.31 W m−2 contributed by anthropogenic sulfate and −0.11 W m−2 contributed by natural sulfate, relative to a state with no sulfur emissions. In the Southern Hemisphere tropics, dimethyl sulfide (DMS) contributes 17–84 % to the total DRF. East Asia has the largest contribution of 20–30 % over the Northern Hemisphere mid- and high latitudes. A 20 % perturbation of sulfate and its precursor emissions gives a sulfate incremental IRF of −0.44 W m−2. DMS has the largest contribution, explaining −0.23 W m−2 of the global sulfate incremental IRF. Incremental IRF over regions in the Southern Hemisphere with low background aerosols is more sensitive to emission perturbation than that over the polluted Northern Hemisphere.

Citation: Yang, Y., Wang, H., Smith, S. J., Easter, R., Ma, P.-L., Qian, Y., Yu, H., Li, C., and Rasch, P. J.: Global source attribution of sulfate concentration and direct and indirect radiative forcing, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 8903-8922, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-8903-2017, 2017.
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Short summary
Sulfate has significant impacts on air quality and climate. Local sulfate pollution could result from remote influences, making domestic mitigation efforts inefficient. Using CESM with a sulfur source-tagging technique, we found that, over regions with relatively low emissions, sulfate concentrations are primarily attributed to non-local sources and sulfate indirect radiative forcing over the Southern Hemisphere is more sensitive to emission perturbation than the polluted Northern Hemisphere.
Sulfate has significant impacts on air quality and climate. Local sulfate pollution could result...
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