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Estimating the average time for inter-continental transport of air pollutants

Author(s): Liu, Junfeng; Mauzerall, Denise L.

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Abstract: We estimate the average time required for intercontinental transport of atmospheric tracers based on simulations with the global chemical tracer model MOZART-2 driven with NCEP meteorology. We represent the average transport time by a ratio of the concentration of two tracers with different lifetimes. We find that average transport times increase with tracer lifetimes. With tracers of 1- and 2-week lifetimes the average transport time from East Asia (EA) to the surface of western North America (NA) in April is 2-3 weeks, approximately a half week longer than transport from NA to western Europe (EU) and from EU to EA. We develop an 'equivalent circulation' method to estimate a timescale which has little dependence on tracer lifetimes and obtain similar results to those obtained with short-lived tracers. Our findings show that average intercontinental transport times, even for tracers with short lifetimes, are on average 1- 2 weeks longer than rapid transport observed in plumes.
Publication Date: 2005
Citation: Liu, Junfeng, Mauzerall, Denise L. (2005). Estimating the average time for inter-continental transport of air pollutants. Geophysical Research Letters, 32 (11), 10.1029/2005GL022619
DOI: 10.1029/2005GL022619
ISSN: 0094-8276
Pages: L11814 (1-4)
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Geophysical Research Letters
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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