Some observational and modeling evidence of long-range transport of air pollutants from Europe toward the Israeli coast


  • Aryeh Wanger,

  • Mordechai Peleg,

  • Geula Sharf,

  • Yitzhak Mahrer,

  • Uri Dayan,

  • George Kallos,

  • Vassiliki Kotroni,

  • Konstantinos Lagouvardos,

  • Maria Varinou,

  • Anastasios Papadopoulos,

  • Menachem Luria


The present paper reports results of a study that attempted to elucidate the factors causing relatively high levels of particulate sulfate that have frequently been observed over central Israel. Aircraft research flights were performed some 70 km west of and parallel to the Israeli coastline during September 1993 and June 1994. Comparison between the two measurement periods revealed a distinctive difference between the two different sampled air masses. While both air masses were nearly homogeneous throughout the measurement period and along the 180 km flight path, the air mass sampled in September 1993 was much “cleaner” than the air mass sampled during June 1994. The concentrations of the air pollutants measured during the 1993 campaign averaged 0.7±0.4 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) SO2, 1.0±0.6 ppbv NOy, 39±7 ppbv O3 and 38±7 nmol/m3 particulate sulfate, whereas in the second period the levels averaged 3.0±1.0, 3.9±1.8, 48±9, and 10 ±63, respectively. These results suggest that the two air masses traveled different paths before reaching the eastern Mediterranean region. Further examination of the air mass sources and transport were performed using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System for meteorological simulations and the Hybrid Particle and Concentration Transport Package for dispersion modeling. The model simulation showed that during the 1993 measurement period, the pollution sources in southern Europe and the Balkans did not effect the eastern coasts of the Mediterranean, while the synoptic conditions and simulation results for the June 1994 period indicated that the winds over the eastern Mediterranean tended to be northwesterly and thus forcing the polluted air masses toward the coast of Israel.