|Title||Identifying the European Fossil Fuel Plumes in the Atmosphere Over the Northeast Atlantic Region Through Isotopic Observations and Numerical Modelling |
|Publication Type||Journal Article |
|Year of Publication||2006 |
|Authors||C.Geels, J. H. Christensen, A. W. Hansen, J. Heinemeier, S. Kiilsholm, N. W. Larsen, S. E. Larsen, T. Pedersen, L. L. Sørensen, J. Brandt, L. M. Frohn, and S. Djurhuus |
|Refereed Designation||Refereed |
|Journal||Environmental Monitoring and Assessment |
|Start Page||387 |
|Abstract||As part of the Danish NEAREX project the origin and variability of anthropogenic atmospheric CO(2) over the Northeast Atlantic Region (NEAR) has been studied. The project consisted of a combination of experimental and modelling activities. Local volunteers operated CO(2) sampling stations, built at University of Copenhagen, for (14)C analysis at four locations (East Denmark, Shetland Isles, Faroe Isles and Iceland). The samples were only collected during winter periods of south-easterly winds in an attempt to trace air enriched in fossil-fuel derived CO(2) due to combustion of fossil fuels within European countries. In order to study the transport and concentration fields over the region in detail, a three-dimensional Eulerian hemispheric air pollution model has been extended to include the main anthropogenic sources for atmospheric CO(2). During the project period (1998-2001) only a few episodes of transport from Central Europe towards NEAR arose, which makes the data set for the evaluation of the method sparse. The analysed samples indicate that the signal for fossil CO(2), as expected, is largest (up to 3.7+/-0.4% fossil CO(2)) at the Danish location closest to the European emissions areas and much weaker (up to approximately 1.5+/-0.6% fossil CO(2)) at the most remote location. As the anthropogenic signal is weak in the clean atmosphere over NEAR these numbers will, however, be very sensitive to the assumed background (14)CO(2) activity and the precision of the measurements. The model simulations include the interplay between the driving processes from the emission into the boundary layer and the following horizontal/vertical mixing and atmospheric transport and are used to analyse the meteorological conditions leading to the observed events of high fossil CO(2) over NEAR. This information about the history of the air masses is essential if an observed signal is to be utilised for identifying and quantifying sources for fossil CO(2).