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The impact of increased ship emissions on nitrate radicals at low irradiation

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Monday, 24 January 2011
The impact of increased ship emissions on nitrate radicals at low irradiation
Washington State Convention Center
Nicole Mölders, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK; and T. T. Tran, W. R. Simpson, G. Newby, and W. R. Stockwell

In the Arctic and subarctic air pollution is processed differently from the more studied mid- latitudes because of the unique environmental conditions (cold, long dark nights, presence of inversions, snow and ice). WRF/Chem is applied to examine how the increase in NOx emissions between 1990 and 2000 affects NOx, NOy, NOz and Ox. A major increase of NOx emission results from the increasing ship traffic. During the long dark Alaskan nights, NO2 reacts with the available ozone to NO3, which then can react with NO2 to N2O5. These nocturnal intermediates (NO3, N2O5) control the NOx concentrations. N2O5 is removed by clouds. Preliminary results also show that the amount of NO3 built decreases as the length of day increases and from north to south. The frequent Aleutian Lows take up the pollution emitted along the sea-routes and transport it into the Alaska coastal regions. In the discussion, focus will be on differences as compared to mid-latitude ship emission impacts in behavior of chemical processes during the long white nights and dark days of Alaska.