Climate Change and Emissions Impacts on Atmospheric PAH Transport to the Arctic
Author(s)Zhang, Yanxu; Friedman, Carey; Selin, Noelle Eckley
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We investigate effects of 2000–2050 emissions and climate changes on the atmospheric transport of three polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs): phenanthrene (PHE), pyrene (PYR), and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP). We use the GEOS-Chem model coupled to meteorology from a general circulation model and focus on impacts to northern hemisphere midlatitudes and the Arctic. We project declines in anthropogenic emissions (up to 20%) and concentrations (up to 37%), with particle-bound PAHs declining more, and greater declines in midlatitudes versus the Arctic. Climate change causes relatively minor increases in midlatitude concentrations for the more volatile PHE and PYR (up to 4%) and decreases (3%) for particle-bound BaP. In the Arctic, all PAHs decline slightly under future climate (up to 2%). Overall, we observe a small 2050 “climate penalty” for volatile PAHs and “climate benefit” for particle-bound PAHs. The degree of penalty or benefit depends on competition between deposition and surface-to-air fluxes of previously deposited PAHs. Particles and temperature have greater impacts on future transport than oxidants, with particle changes alone accounting for 15% of BaP decline under 2050 emissions. Higher temperatures drive increasing surface-to-air fluxes that cause PHE and PYR climate penalties. Simulations suggest ratios of more-to-less volatile species can be used to diagnose signals of climate versus emissions and that these signals are best observed in the Arctic.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Global Change Science; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division
Environmental Science and Technology
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Friedman, Carey L., Yanxu Zhang, and Noelle E. Selin. “Climate Change and Emissions Impacts on Atmospheric PAH Transport to the Arctic.” Environ. Sci. Technol. 48, no. 1 (January 7, 2014): 429–437.
Author's final manuscript