Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 4911-4934, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
11 Apr 2018
Primary aerosol and secondary inorganic aerosol budget over the Mediterranean Basin during 2012 and 2013
Jonathan Guth1, Virginie Marécal1, Béatrice Josse1, Joaquim Arteta1, and Paul Hamer2,1 1Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques, CNRS–Météo-France, UMR3589, Toulouse, France
2NILU – Norwegian Institute for Air Research, P.O. Box 100 2027, Kjeller, Norway
Abstract. In the frame of the Chemistry-Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment (ChArMEx), we analyse the budget of primary aerosols and secondary inorganic aerosols over the Mediterranean Basin during the years 2012 and 2013. To do this, we use two year-long numerical simulations with the chemistry-transport model MOCAGE validated against satellite- and ground-based measurements. The budget is presented on an annual and a monthly basis on a domain covering 29 to 47° N latitude and 10° W to 38° E longitude.

The years 2012 and 2013 show similar seasonal variations. The desert dust is the main contributor to the annual aerosol burden in the Mediterranean region with a peak in spring, and sea salt being the second most important contributor. The secondary inorganic aerosols, taken as a whole, contribute a similar level to sea salt. The results show that all of the considered aerosol types, except for sea salt aerosols, experience net export out of our Mediterranean Basin model domain, and thus this area should be considered as a source region for aerosols globally. Our study showed that 11 % of the desert dust, 22.8 to 39.5 % of the carbonaceous aerosols, 35 % of the sulfate and 9 % of the ammonium emitted or produced into the study domain are exported. The main sources of variability for aerosols between 2012 and 2013 are weather-related variations, acting on emissions processes, and the episodic import of aerosols from North American fires.

In order to assess the importance of the anthropogenic emissions of the marine and the coastal areas which are central for the economy of the Mediterranean Basin, we made a sensitivity test simulation. This simulation is similar to the reference simulation but with the removal of the international shipping emissions and the anthropogenic emissions over a 50 km wide band inland along the coast. We showed that around 30 % of the emissions of carbonaceous aerosols and 35 to 60 % of the exported carbonaceous aerosols originates from the marine and coastal areas. The formation of 23, 27 and 27 %, respectively of, ammonium, nitrate and sulfate aerosols is due to the emissions within the marine and coastal area.

Citation: Guth, J., Marécal, V., Josse, B., Arteta, J., and Hamer, P.: Primary aerosol and secondary inorganic aerosol budget over the Mediterranean Basin during 2012 and 2013, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 4911-4934,, 2018.
Publications Copernicus