Evaluation of the effect of long-range transport of air pollutants on coastal atmospheric monitoring sites in and around Taiwan

Carsten Junker, Jia Lin Wang, Chung Te Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Long-range transport of pollution outflow from Asian mainland has been noticed and expected to play a significant role in Pacific background. Since 1993 the Taiwanese Environmental Protection Administration (TEPA) is conducting ground-based observations of various particulate and gaseous pollutants at 74 monitoring stations in Taiwan. One of these stations, Heng-Chun at the south coast of Taiwan can be considered as a background station with only negligible amounts of local pollution, and another one, Wan-Li at the north coast, predominantly receives air that has not passed over Taiwan, so that background air can be analysed by means of sectorisation. In this work, the sectorised 13-year time series of measurements of CO, SO2, O3, NOx and PM10, from the Wan-Li station are presen and compared to data from the Heng-Chun station and another TEPA background station off the coast of mainland China, Ma-Zu. The CO and O3 measurements are also compared to data from the Yonaguni station, a Pacific island site, part of the Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) network. The similarity of the sectorised data from the Wan-Li station with the data of the other station indicates that atmospheric measurements from the Wan-Li site can be used to make inferences about trends in western Pacific background air pollution and the effect of long-range transport of pollutants. The measurement time series from 1993 to 2006 do not indicate a significant trend in the monthly mean O3 concentrations in accordance with other research about ozone in tropical latitudes. An increasing trend in CO concentrations of 2.8% per annum is observed between 1999 and 2006 for long-range transport to northern Taiwan, and a doubling of the SO2 and NOx concentrations observed at the Wan-Li and Heng-Chun sites within the period 2001-2006. SO2 concentrations are found to quadruple at Ma-Zu within the same period. The data suggest that pollution from the Asian mainland enhances significantly the background air pollution over the Pacific.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3374-3384
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Volume43
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

Keywords

  • Aerosols
  • Airmasses
  • Continental outflow
  • Long-range transport
  • Trace gases
  • Western Pacific

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