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GNAQPMS-Hg v1.0, a global nested atmospheric mercury transport model: model description, evaluation and application to trans-boundary transport of Chinese anthropogenic emissions

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  • Huansheng Chen
  • Zifa Wang
  • Jie Li
  • Xiao Tang
  • Baozhu Ge
  • X. L. Wu
  • O. Wild
  • G. R. Carmichael
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/09/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Geoscientific Model Development
Issue number9
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)2857-2876
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Atmospheric mercury (Hg) is a toxic pollutant and can be transported over the whole globe due to its long lifetime in the atmosphere. For the purpose of assessing Hg hemispheric transport and better characterizing regional Hg pollution, a global nested atmospheric Hg transport model (GNAQPMS-Hg - Global Nested Air Quality Prediction Modeling System for Hg) has been developed. In GNAQPMS-Hg, the gas-and aqueous-phase Hg chemistry representing the transformation among three forms of Hg: elemental mercury (Hg(0)), divalent mercury (Hg(II)), and primary particulate mercury (Hg(P)) are calculated. A detailed description of the model, including mercury emissions, gas-and aqueous-phase chemistry, and dry and wet deposition is given in this study. Worldwide observations including extensive data in China have been collected for model evaluation. Comparison results show that the model reasonably simulates the global mercury budget and the spatio-temporal variation of surface mercury concentrations and deposition. Overall, model predictions of annual total gaseous mercury (TGM) and wet deposition agree with observations within a factor of 2, and within a factor of 5 for oxidized mercury and dry deposition. The model performs significantly better in North America and Europe than in East Asia. This can probably be attributed to the large uncertainties in emission inventories, coarse model resolution and to the inconsistency between the simulation and observation periods in East Asia. Compared to the global simulation, the nested simulation shows improved skill at capturing the high spatial variability of surface Hg concentrations and deposition over East Asia. In particular, the root mean square error (RMSE) of simulated Hg wet deposition over East Asia is reduced by 24% in the nested simulation. Model sensitivity studies indicate that Chinese primary anthropogenic emissions account for 30 and 62% of surface mercury concentrations and deposition over China, respectively. Along the rim of the western Pacific, the contributions from Chinese sources are 11 and 15.2% over the Korean Peninsula, 10.4 and 8.2% over Southeast Asia, and 5.7 and 5.9% over Japan. But for North America, Europe and western Asia, the contributions from China are all below 5%.