Regional and global trends in sulfate aerosol since the 1980s
Article first published online: 18 JUL 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 34, Issue 14, July 2007
How to Cite
2007), Regional and global trends in sulfate aerosol since the 1980s, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L14803, doi:10.1029/2006GL028668., , , , and (
- Issue published online: 18 JUL 2007
- Article first published online: 18 JUL 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 JUN 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 23 APR 2007
- Manuscript Received: 10 NOV 2006
- atmospheric sulfate;
- sulfur cycle;
- global aerosol model
 In the last two decades anthropogenic SO2 emissions have decreased across Europe and North America but have increased across Asia. Long-term surface observations suggest that atmospheric sulfate concentrations have followed trends in sulfur emissions more closely across Asia, than across the USA and Europe. We use a global model of chemistry and aerosol to understand changes in the regional sulfur budget between 1985 and 2000. For every 1% decrease in SO2 emissions over Europe and the USA the modelled sulfate column burden decreased by 0.65%, while over Asia a 1% increase in SO2 resulted in a 0.88% increase in sulfate. The different responses can be explained by the availability of oxidant in cloud. We find that because emissions have moved southward to latitudes where in-cloud oxidation is less oxidant limited, the 12% reduction in global SO2 emissions between 1985 and 2000 caused only a 3% decrease in global sulfate.