The significance of the grasshopper effect on the atmospheric distribution of persistent organic substances

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Abstract

[1] Slowly degradable, semivolatile organic compounds (SOCs) may undergo more than one volatilization-transport-deposition cycle through the atmosphere (multi-hopping). The significance of this process for the potential for long-range transport (LRT) is addressed for the first time. We use a multicompartment model which in turn is based on a general circulation model. The results suggest that both transport by single-hopping and multi-hopping contribute significantly to LRT of DDT and γ-HCH (lindane) and to accumulation in high latitudes. A larger fraction of the molecules transported by multi-hopping than of the molecules transported by single-hopping is deposited to the world's oceans. Multi-hopping prevails in the boundary layer far from the source regions. However, single-hopping contributes an almost equal amount to the deposition of DDT and γ-HCH in the Arctic.

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