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Transport of Pollution to Pacific Region


The Study of Atmospheric Pollution Transport from Europe to Pacific Region Using Ground-Based and Satellite Measurements

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-APC/Air Pollution and Control/Environment
  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Rudneva V Ya

Leading Institute
Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Siberian Branch of RAS / Institute of Atmospheric Optics, Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Novosibirsk\nKarpov Institute of Physical Chemistry, Russia, Moscow


  • Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Germany, Jena\nCNRS / Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement / Biogeosciences Department, France, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex\nUniversity of Bremen, Germany, Bremen\nFrontier Research System for Global Change, Japan, Yokohama

Project summary

Because of the global climate change, the growing man-made atmospheric pollution has become a very actual problem of present days. Due to human activity and nature use accrual, lots of gas and aerosol compounds get into atmosphere. They break ecological balance and influence over physical-chemical atmospheric processes causing climatic changes. Due to the atmospheric transport, some harmful pollutants and products of their decomposition are transported to long distances from the sources of their emission in the atmosphere. Intensive zonal transport carries pollutants in the Eastern direction; the synoptic and wave activities promote the transport in the latitudinal direction. Great opportunities for global atmospheric pollution monitoring and studying of its transport are related with a development of satellite tools for atmosphere mix monitoring.

At the same time satellite measurements of mixtures in lower atmosphere and especially in atmospheric boundary layer need improving and validation with simultaneous ground measurements. Therefore, a development and improvement of ground-based methods of pollution monitoring is an actual objective. The huge Eurasian continent size allow to use ground-based measurement stations in the problem of far transfer of pollutant mixtures.

A presence of intensive sources of pollution on the West of the continent in a combination with dominant transport to the East results in distribution of pollutants on Eurasian territory. Due to this, the Northern Pacific region can be polluted not only from territory of China or Siberia, but also from the European part of Eurasia. From the other hand, in summer time there are very intensive natural biospheric sources of pollution. They compete and even dominate emissions from populated areas. Siberian forest fires are most important in this respect. Therefore, a study of aerosol and gaseous (carbon oxide and nitric dioxide) distribution in the troposphere is a subject of significant scientific and practical interest. An estimate of relative contributions of natural and human influences on background atmosphere is a very important goal as well.

Carbon oxide CO and nitric dioxide NO2 serve as fine tracers of the tropospheric pollution and, alongside with it, have a number of important properties making the problem of studying these structures extremely actual. It is important also, that already there are advanced ground methods and instruments for measurement of concentrations of these gases in the surface layer. The satellite methods of their measurement in lower troposphere are being improved during last decades as well.

Main objective of the project is a development of tropospheric pollution monitoring methods and a research of gaseous and aerosol pollution distribution from Europe and Russia to Japan and northern part of Pacific Ocean, employing ground-based and satellite measurements of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide. Another important purpose of the project is a validation of satellite NO2 and CO measurements.

The objectives mentioned will be realized by solving of following tasks:

1) Modernization of distant monitoring methods for measurement of atmospheric pollution with nitric oxides, carbon oxides and aerosol and organization of regular measurements in European part of Russia (near Moscow), in Siberia (near Tomsk) and in Northern Caucasia (near Kislovodsk). Within the Project it is assumed to complete works over modernization of equipment for distant NO2 probing for obtaining data about NO2 vertical profiles including bottom atmospheric layer. Also it is assumed to improve method for finding NO2 vertical distribution through spectrometric ground-based measurements in the conditions of polluted with nitric oxides troposphere. It allows to increase accuracy of NO2 concentration measurement in the lower troposphere and more accurate measurement of NO2 vertical profile in the stratosphere. It is necessary for validation of satellite measurements. In combination with satellite data and calculations of forward and backward air mass movement trajectories, measurement data will be used for quantitative characteristic of polluting mixtures coming through Eurasia to Northern Pacific region.

2) Generalization of long-term data from Russian stations about NO2 and CO concentration and fundamental analysis of temporal mix changeability, including analysis of anomalous situations, trend analysis and pollution analysis. That will promote dipper understanding of dynamical and chemical evolution mechanisms of atmospheric mixtures and more accurate forecast as a result. Using long-term measurements of NO2 concentrations at IA scientific station Zvenigorodskaya average latitude empiric model of vertical NO2 distribution will be formed. It can be used in scientific and applied tasks of atmospheric chemistry and for improvement of satellite methods of NO2 concentration measurements.

3) Data correlation for ground based measurements of NO2, CO and aerosol concentration with satellite results for validation. It will allow to use results of both ground-based and satellite measurements for solving of main project objective – investigation of polluting mixtures transfer.

4) Investigation of polluting mixture (NO2 and CO) and aerosol transfer to Northern Pacific region through Eurasia and Japan. Obtaining of quantitative characteristics of polluting mixture transport and estimation of forest and peat fires in Siberia and European part of Russia.

Main results that will be obtained during implementation of the project:

1) A system of three stations in different regions will be organized for regular measurement of ground concentration using modified methods of integral NO2, CO and aerosol concentration and vertical NO2 distribution measurement.

2) Long term data banks will be formed about NO2, CO and aerosol content and vertical NO2 distribution.

3) Quantitative characteristics of NO2, CO and aerosol temporal changeability at different time scales – from diurnal to long-term, including estimations of long-term trends. Mechanisms of mixture changeability will be found out.

4) Quantitative characteristics of the pollution will be got and lower atmosphere pollution statistics will be studied at Russian stations.

5) An average latitude empiric model of vertical NO2 distribution will be formed.

6) Validation of satellite measurements of NO2, CO and aerosol content will be performed.

7) Quantitative estimates of mixture transport to the Northern Pacific ocean region and Japan in particular will be performed. That will include identification of major antropogenous and natural sources influence, including forest and peat fires.

The expected results have important application for the Northern Pacific region pollution forecast in the conditions of western atmospheric transfer and for improvement of satellite methods of distant troposphere content probing. The equipping of ground based observations will be done for that aim to perform distant and local measurements of CO, NO2 and aerosol concentration changes. The equipment for spectroscopic measurements of NO2 abundance in the spectral range between 435 and 450 nm will be modernized and automated. A new comparison of instruments will be carried out.

We assume that results obtained during the work can be used in the project devoted to Atmospheric Brown Cloud (ABC) investigation.

The project of Atmospheric Brown Cloud (ABC) investigation, which is formed in Central Asia is an international project initiated by United Nations organization for Environment Protection. We hope that results of this project will be used by both UNEP and governments of countries for development of strategies aimed on reduction of Asian air pollution influence on climate, environment and human health.

The equipment developed by project participants and methods are being successfully used for plane-based and ground-based distant monitoring of atmospheric pollution. During the project experience, experimental and theoretical methods developed by military specialists will be used. High qualification of military specialists of Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry will be used. These specialists work over development of instruments and methods for radioactive and poisoning control in the atmosphere. Experts of the Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics (Russian Academy of Science) and the Institute of Atmospheric Optics (Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Science) have a significant experience in a research of dynamics and structure of the atmosphere, using spectrophotometric methods within the framework of Russian and International projects.


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