Attribution of Atmospheric Sulfur Dioxide over the English Channel to Dimethylsulfide and Changing Ship Emissions

Yang, M, Bell, TG, Hopkins, FE and Smyth, TJ 2016 Attribution of Atmospheric Sulfur Dioxide over the English Channel to Dimethylsulfide and Changing Ship Emissions. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions. 1-19.

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Atmospheric sulfur dioxide (SO2) was measured continuously from the Penlee Point Atmospheric Observatory(PPAO) near Plymouth, United Kingdom between May 2014 and November 2015. This coastal site is exposed to marine air across a wide wind sector. The predominant southwesterly winds carry relatively clean background Atlantic air. In contrast, air from the southeast is heavily influenced by exhaust plumes from ships in the English Channel as well as near the Plymouth Sound. New International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulation came into force in January 2015 to reduce sulfur emissions tenfold in Sulfur Emission Control Areas such as the English Channel. Our observations suggest a three-fold reduction from 2014 to 2015 in ship-emitted SO2 from that direction. Apparent fuel sulfur content calculated from coincidental SO2 and carbon dioxide (CO2) peaks from local ship plum es show a high level of compliance to the IMO regulation (> 95 %) in both years. Dimethylsulfide (DMS) is an important source of atmospheric SO2 even in this semi-polluted region. The relative contribution of DMS oxidation to the SO2 burden over the English Channel increased from ~ 1/3 in 2014 to ~ 1/2 in 2015 due to the reduction in ship sulfur emissions. Our diel analysis suggests that SO2 is removed from the marine atmospheric boundary layer in about half a day, with dry deposition to the ocean accounting for a quarter of the total loss.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Atmospheric Sciences
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Biochemistry and Observations
Depositing User: Dr Thomas George Bell
Date made live: 29 Mar 2016 10:46
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2018 15:25

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