16 Feb 2024
 | 16 Feb 2024

Influence of Atmospheric Circulation on the Interannual Variability of Transport from Global and Regional Emissions into the Arctic

Cheng Zheng, Yutian Wu, Mingfang Ting, and Clara Orbe

Abstract. Trace gases and aerosols play a crucial role in shaping Arctic climate through their impacts on radiation and chemistry. The concentration of these substances over the Arctic is largely determined by long-range transport originating from midlatitude and tropical source regions. In this study, we explore how atmospheric circulation modulates the interannual variability of long-range transport into the Arctic by utilizing a chemistry climate model. Idealized tracers, which have fixed lifetimes and spatially varying but temporally fixed surface emission corresponding to the climatology of anthropogenic emissions of the year 2000, are employed to isolate the role of atmospheric transport from emission and chemistry in modulating interannual variability. Tracers emitted from different source regions are tagged to quantify their relative contributions. Model simulations reveal that tracers from Europe, East Asia, and North America contribute the most to Arctic tracer mass, followed by those from the Tibetan Plateau and South Asia, and the Middle East. These regional tracers are predominantly transported into the Arctic mid-to-upper troposphere, with the exception of tracers from Europe during winter, which are transported into the Arctic lower troposphere. Our analysis shows that the interannual variability of transport into the Arctic for each regional tracer is determined by the atmospheric circulation over the corresponding emission region, i.e., anomalous poleward and eastward winds over the source region promote transport into the Arctic. Considering tracers with global emissions, a southward shift of the midlatitude jet during winter favours increased transport into the Arctic, particularly for tracers emitted over Asia, aligning with previous studies. Comparisons of tracers with different lifetimes indicate that the interannual variability of shorter lifetime tracers is predominantly influenced by regional tracers with shorter transport pathways into the Arctic (e.g., Europe), while the interannual variability of longer lifetime tracers is more contributed by regional tracers with higher emissions (e.g., East Asia).

Cheng Zheng, Yutian Wu, Mingfang Ting, and Clara Orbe

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-253', Anonymous Referee #1, 20 Mar 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-253', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Mar 2024
Cheng Zheng, Yutian Wu, Mingfang Ting, and Clara Orbe
Cheng Zheng, Yutian Wu, Mingfang Ting, and Clara Orbe


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Short summary
Trace gases and aerosols in the Arctic, which typically originate from midlatitude and tropical emission regions, modulate the Arctic climate via their radiative and chemistry impacts. Thus, long-range transport of these substances is important for understanding the current and the future change of Arctic climate. By employing chemistry-climate models, we explore how year-to-year variations in the atmospheric circulation modulate the atmospheric long-range transport into the Arctic.