Transport of Asian air pollution to North America

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Abstract

Using observations from the Cheeka Peak Observatory in northwestern Washington State during March-April, 1997, we show that Asian anthropogenic emissions significantly impact the concentrations of a large number of atmospheric species in the air arriving to North America during spring. Isentropic back-trajectories can be used to identify possible times when this impact will be felt, however trajectories alone are not sufficient to indicate the presence of Asian pollutants. Detailed chemical and meteorological data from one of these periods (March 29th, 1997) indicates that the surface emissions were lifted into the free troposphere over Asia and then transported to North America in ∼6 days.

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