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

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  • Ying Chen
  • Y.-F. Cheng
  • S. Nordmann
  • W. Birmili
  • H. A. C. Denier van der Gon
  • N. Ma
  • R. Wolke
  • B. Wehner
  • J. Sun
  • G. Spindler
  • Q. Mu
  • U. Pöschl
  • H. Su
  • A. Wiedensohler
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>17/02/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number3
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)1823-1835
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


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.