Springtime trans-Pacific transport of Asian pollutants characterized by the Western Pacific (WP) pattern

Ja Ho Koo, Jaemin Kim, Jhoon Kim, Hanlim Lee, Young Min Noh, Yun Gon Lee

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Springtime trans-Pacific transport of Asian air pollutants has been investigated in many ways to figure out its mechanism. Based on the Western Pacific (WP) pattern, one of climate variabilities in the Northern Hemisphere known to be associated with the pattern of atmospheric circulation over the North Pacific Ocean, in this study, we characterize the pattern of springtime trans-Pacific transport using long-term satellite measurements and reanalysis datasets. A positive WP pattern is characterized by intensification of the dipole structure between the northern Aleutian Low and the southern Pacific High over the North Pacific. The TOMS/OMI Aerosol Index (AI) and MOPITT CO show the enhancement of Asian pollutant transport across the Pacific during periods of positive WP pattern, particularly between 40 and 50°N. This enhancement is confirmed by high correlations of WP index with AI and CO between 40 and 50°N. To evaluate the influence of the WP pattern, we examine several cases of trans-Pacific transport reported in previous research. Interestingly, most trans-Pacific transport cases are associated with the positive WP pattern. During the period of negative WP pattern, reinforced cyclonic wave breaking is consistently found over the western North Pacific, which obstructs zonal advection across the North Pacific. However, some cases show the trans-Pacific transport of CO in the period of negative WP pattern, implying that the WP pattern is more influential on the transport of particles mostly emitted near ∼40°N. This study reveals that the WP pattern can be utilized to diagnose the strength of air pollutant transport from East Asia to North America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-177
Number of pages12
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the GEMS program of the Ministry of Environment , Korea and the Eco Innovation Program of KEITI ( 2012000160002 ), and by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant KMIPA 2015-5170 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


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