Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research

Cheongju, South Korea

Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research

Cheongju, South Korea
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Chung Y.S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Kim H.-S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Chun Y.,Korea Meteorological Administration
Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences | Year: 2014

Dust air pollution has been routinely monitored in central Korea for the last two decades. In 2009, there were eight typical episodes of significant dust loadings in the air: four were caused by dust storms from deserts in Mongolia and Northern China, while the remaining were typical cases of anthropogenic air pollution masses arriving from the Yellow Sea and East China. These natural dust loadings occurred with cool northwesterly airflows in the forward side of an intense anticyclone coming from Mongolia and Siberia. The mean concentrations of the four natural dustfall cases for TSP, PM10 and PM2.5 were 632, 480 and 100 μg m-3, respectively. In contrast, the anthropogenic dust-pollution episodes occurred with the warm westerly and southwesterly airflows in the rear side of an anticyclone. This produced a favorable atmospheric and chemical condition for the build-up of anthropogenic dust air pollution in the Yellow Sea. The mean concentrations of the four anthropogenic dust loadings for TSP, PM10 and PM2.5 were 224, 187 and 137 μg m -3, respectively. The contents of fine dust loadings of PM2.5 were comparatively high in the cases of anthropogenic air pollution. High atmospheric concentrations of fine particles in the atmosphere cause poor visibility and constitute a health hazard. Satellite observations clearly showed the movement of dust-pollution masses from Mongolia and Northern China and from the Yellow Sea and East China that caused these dust pollution episodes in Korea. © 2014 The Korean Meteorological Society and Springer.


Kim H.-S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Chung Y.-S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Tans P.P.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health | Year: 2014

Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and the isotope composition (δ13C) were analyzed in Mt. Waliguan (WLG), China; Ulaan Uul (UUM), Mongolia; Tae-ahn Peninsula (TAP), Korea; Ryori (RYO), Japan; and Mauna Loa (MLO), Hawaii during 1991-2011. The average CO2 growth rate at MLO was 1.7 ppm year-1 during 1993-2004 and accelerated to 2.0 ppm year-1 during 2005-2011. The average difference from MLO during 1993-2004 was 0.27, 0.98, 4.18, and 2.83 ppm for WLG, UUM, TAP, and RYO, respectively. During 2005-2011, the average differences for WLG, UUM, TAP, and RYO increased to 0.33, 1.40, 5.81, and 2.99 ppm. Also, the annual range of CO2 at TAP has become large compared with MLO. CO2 concentrations at TAP, located on the downwind site of China, are increasing slightly faster than in the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, especially since about 2005. The long-term increase is caused by the burning of fossil fuels, although with some year-to-year variation caused by terrestrial ecosystems. CO2 concentration increases were due to the consumption of fossil fuels for heating in winter and agricultural activities in spring. The variations of δ13C reflect the large seasonal variation and increasing trend of CO2. The integrated value of δ13Cs of the sources in the East Asian region ranges from -28.0 to -27.1 ‰, with CO2, which was emitted by fossil fuels, being added. Airflow that arrived at TAP was divided into continental background (CBG) route, regionally polluted continental (RPC) route, and oceanic background (OBG) route. CO2 concentration was higher in CBG and RPC routes, and δ13C stayed at a low value. The isotopic fractionation factor of sources and sinks in the three sectors CBG, RPC, and OBG was -27.5 ± 0.3 ‰ (one sigma), -29.0 ± 0.6, and -23.0 ± 1.5 ‰, respectively. In the RPC route, traversing the industrial regions in eastern China where fossil fuels are consumed in large quantities, the lightest δ13C value was registered. Lower CO2 concentrations and heavier δ13C values were dominant in summer in OBG signatures. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Kim H.S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Chung Y.S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Tans P.P.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences | Year: 2010

The carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations observed at Mt Waliguan in China (WLG), Ulaan Uul in Mongolia (UUM), Tae-ahn Peninsula in Korea (TAP) and Ryori in Japan (RYO) were analysed between 1991 and 2008. The average annual concentration of CO, a toxic air pollutant, was the highest at TAP (235±44 ppb), followed by RYO (169±35 ppb), UUM (154±27 ppb) and WTG (138±24 ppb). These data obtained in East Asia were also compared with CO data from Mauna Loa, Hawaii. CO tends to be highest in spring and lowest in summer in East Asia, with the exception of WLG. TAP had the highest CO concentrations in all seasons compared with WLG, UUM and RYO, and displays a wide short-term variability in concentration. This is caused by large-scale air pollution owing to its downwind location, close to continental East Asia. CO concentrations observed at TAP were analysed as follows: according to the origin of the isentropic backward trajectory and its transport passage; as continental background airflows (CBG); regionally polluted continental airflows (RPC); oceanic background airflows (OBG); and partly perturbed oceanic airflows (PPO). The high concentrations of CO at TAP are because of the airflow originating from the East Asian continent, rather than the North Pacific. RPCs, which pass through eastern China, appear to have high CO concentrations in spring, autumn and winter. It is noteworthy that the overall trend at TAP does not show an increase despite the fact that energy use in China approximately doubled from 1991 to 2008. OBGs, however, are affected by North Pacific air masses with low CO concentrations in summer. © The Korean Meteorological Society and Springer 2010.


Kim H.-S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Chung Y.-S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Lee S.-G.,Korea Aerospace Research Institute
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2013

Satellite-retrieved data on aerosol optical depth (AOD) and Ångström exponent (AE) using a moderate resolution imaging spectrometer (MODIS) were used to analyze large-scale distributions of atmospheric aerosols in East Asia. AOD was relatively high in March (0.44 ± 0.25) and low in September (0.24 ± 0.21) in the East Asian region in 2009. Sandstorms originating from the deserts and dry areas in northern China and Mongolia were transported on a massive scale during the springtime, thus contributing to the high AOD in East Asia. However, whereas PM10 with diameters ≤10 μm was the highest in February at Anmyon, Cheongwon, and Ulleung, located leeward about halfway through the Korean Peninsula, AOD rose to its highest in May. The growth of hygroscopic aerosols attendant on increases in relative humidity prior to the Asian monsoon season contributed to a high AOD level in May. AE typically appears at high levels (1.30 ± 0.37) in August due to anthropogenic aerosols originating from the industrial areas in eastern China, while AOD stays low in summer due to the removal process caused by rainfall. The linear correlation coefficients of the MODIS AOD and ground-based mass concentrations of PM10 at Anmyon, Cheongwon, and Ulleung were measured at 0.4~0.6. Four cases (6 days) of mineral dustfall from sandstorms and six cases (12 days) of anthropogenically polluted particles were observed in the central area of the Korean Peninsula in 2009. PM10 mass concentrations increased at both Anmyon and Cheongwon in the cases of mineral dustfall and anthropogenically polluted particles. Cases of dustfall from sandstorms and anthropogenic polluted particles, with increasing PM10 mass concentrations, showed higher AOD values in the Yellow Sea region. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Kim H.S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Chung Y.S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research
Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health | Year: 2010

Sandstorms in the desert and loess regions of north-northwestern China and Mongolia, as well as the associated dustfall episodes in the Korean Peninsula, were monitored between January and December 2005. Composite color images were made on the basis of data received directly from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite advanced very high resolution radiometer, and the distribution and transport of dust clouds were analyzed. The ground concentrations of PM10 and PM2. 5 and visibility during dustfall episodes (where the PM10 concentration exceeds 190 μg m-3 for at least 2 h) were also analyzed at Cheongwon, in central South Korea, which lies in the leeward direction from the origin of sandstorms. Fewer strong sandstorms occurred in the places of origin in 2005, mainly because of the snow cover with moderate high and low pressure systems in the place of dust origin. The weather patterns explain why there were fewer dustfall episodes in Korea in 2005 than in the period between 1997 and 2004. A total of seven dustfall episodes were monitored in Korea in 2005 and they covered a period of 11 days. In the summer of 2005, sandstorms occurred less frequently in the source region due to high humidity and weaker winds; as a result, there were no dustfall episodes in Korea. When the sandstorms at the source headed directly to Korea without passing through any large cities or industrial areas of China, the PM2. 5 concentrations were up to 20% of the PM10 concentrations. However, when the sandstorms headed to Korea via the industrial areas of eastern China, where they pick up anthropogenic air pollutants, the PM2. 5 concentrations were at least 25% of the PM10 concentrations. In five of the cases that were observed and analyzed in 2005, the PM10 concentrations of the sand dust that originated in the deserts were 190 μg m-3 or less, which is below the level of a dustfall episode. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.


Kim H.-S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Chung Y.-S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Choi H.-J.,Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health | Year: 2014

The occurrence and transport of dust storms and anthropogenic air pollutants in East Asia have been monitored using the meteorological satellite data of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and ground-based measurements at Cheongwon, a background observation site in central Korea. The nine cases, measured over 14 days, of natural dust particles caused by dust storms originating from northern China and Mongolia were observed at Cheongwon in the spring, autumn, and winter of 2010. In addition, seven cases, measured over 18 days, of anthropogenic dust particles originating from eastern China were observed over the course of a year. In those cases of natural and anthropogenic dust particles observed at Cheongwon, the level of particle matter (PM) with a diameter of ≤10 μm (PM10) (100 μgm-3 day-1) or PM2.5 (50 μgm-3 day-1) exceeded the air quality standards of Korea for 5 and 6 days, respectively. At the same time, CO concentrations rose higher due to long-range transport, while CO levels in the cases of anthropogenic dust particles (954 ppb) rose higher compared with the cases of natural dust particles (812 ppb). While gusty north-northwesterly winds were blowing in the front side of high-pressure systems, an increase in CO concentrations along with the influx of dust storms was observed at Cheongwon in the three natural dust particle cases with continental background airflow (n-CBAs). However, the other six natural dust particle cases with continental polluted airflow (n-CPAs) were also observed where mass concentrations of TSP, PM10 and PM2.5, and CO increased simultaneously after the CO concentrations rose and fell before dust storms had flowed in, showing double peaks. The mass concentrations of total suspended particle (TSP), PM10, and PM2.5 were high, and the PM2.5/TSP mass concentration ratio was high in n-CPAs, compared with n-CBAs. However, the anthropogenic dust particle cases with continental polluted airflow (a-CPA) are affected by air pollutants transported from eastern China by warm southwesterly winds, since central Korea is located in the rear side of the high-pressure system and in the foreside of the low-pressure system. Also, the anthropogenic dust particle cases with regionally polluted airflow (a-RPA) were observed in central Korea due to a stagnant high-pressure system for several days in the Yellow Sea region. In a-CPA, the mass concentrations of TSP, PM10, and PM2.5; the PM2.5/TSP mass concentration ratio; and the CO concentrations were all higher than in a-RPA. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Kim H.-S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Chung Y.-S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research
Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences | Year: 2010

Sandstorms in the desert and loess regions of north China and Mongolia, as well as the associated dustfall episodes on the Korean Peninsula, were monitored in 2005. The ground mass concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 were analyzed during dustfall episodes at Cheongwon, in central south Korea, based on synoptic features at surface, 850 hPa and 500 hPa levels. A total of seven dustfall episodes lasting eleven days were observed and the mass concentration ratios of PM2.5 and PM10 during dustfall episodes were classified into a severe dustfall episode (SDE) and a moderate dustfall episode (MDE) depending upon two synoptic features. The main synoptic feature was for SDEs, which occurred frequently under a surface anticyclone and cyclone located in the west and east of the Korean Peninsula with large amplitude trough at 500 hPa over the northern Korean Peninsula. The sandstorms at the source headed directly to Korea via a strong N-NW wind without passing through any large cities or industrial areas of east China. The PM10 mass concentration sharply increased during the SDEs; however, the fine aerosol fraction of PM2.5 levels was relatively low with 13.6% of the mass concentration. In a synoptic feature for MDEs, a slow moving cyclone headed to Korea via the industrial areas of northeastern China under a small amplitude trough at a 500 hPa level. A weak anticyclone was also located over China. MDEs showed low mass concentrations of coarse PM10 particles and large fraction of fine PM2.5 particles at 46.3%. © The Korean Meteorological Society and Springer 2010.


Kim H.-S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Chung Y.-S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Lee S.-G.,Korea Aerospace Research Institute
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2012

Episodes of large-scale transport of airborne dust and anthropogenic pollutant particles from different sources in the East Asian continent in 2008 were identified by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite RGB (red, green, and blue)-composite images and the mass concentrations of ground level particulate matter. These particles were divided into dust, sea salt, smoke plume, and sulfate by an aerosol classification algorithm. To analyze the aerosol size distribution during large-scale transport of atmospheric aerosols, aerosol optical depth (AOD) and fine aerosol weighting (FW) of moderate imaging spectroradiometer aerosol products were used over the East Asian region. Six episodes of massive airborne dust particles, originating from sandstorms in northern China, Mongolia, and the Loess Plateau of China, were observed at Cheongwon. Classified dust aerosol types were distributed on a large-scale over the Yellow Sea region. The average PM10 and PM2.5 ratio to the total mass concentration TSP were 70% and 15%, respectively. However, the mass concentration of PM2.5 among TSP increased to as high as 23% in an episode where dust traveled in by way of an industrial area in eastern China. In the other five episodes of anthropogenic pollutant particles that flowed into the Korean Peninsula from eastern China, the anthropogenic pollutant particles were largely detected in the form of smoke over the Yellow Sea region. The average PM10 and PM2.5 ratios to TSP were 82% and 65%, respectively. The ratio of PM2.5 mass concentrations among TSP varied significantly depending on the origin and pathway of the airborne dust particles. The average AOD for the large-scale transport of anthropogenic pollutant particles in the East Asian region was measured to be 0.42 ± 0.17, which is higher in terms of the rate against atmospheric aerosols as compared with the AOD (0.36 ± 0.13) for airborne dust particles with sandstorms. In particular, the region ranging from eastern China, the Yellow Sea, and the Korean Peninsula to the Korea East Sea was characterized by high AOD distributions. In the episode of anthropogenic polluted aerosols, FW averaged 0.63 ± 0.16, a value higher than that in the episode of airborne dust particles (0.52 ± 0.13) with sandstorms, showing that fine anthropogenic pollutant particles contribute greatly to atmospheric aerosols in East Asia. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011.


Kim H.-S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Chung Y.-S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Kim J.-T.,Korea National University of Education
Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences | Year: 2014

Long-term variations and trends of atmospheric aerosols in the East Asian region were analyzed by using aerosol optical depth (AOD or τ), and angström exponent (AE or α) obtained from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) from 2001 to 2010. The increased emission of anthropogenic fine aerosols in east China resulted in the high AOD in this region during summer. The steady increasing emission of anthropogenic fine aerosols caused an increasing trend of AOD in east China, and the large-scale transport of sandstorms and smoke plume caused by forest fires affected intense inter-annual variations of AOD in the East Asian region. While in the central part of South Korea, located in the lee side of the East Asian continent, AE tended to rise to a level higher than in east China, the ground-based mass concentrations continued to decline. A noticeable decrease of PM10 mass concentration in spring and winter in central Korea is most likely attributable to decreases in sandstorms in the source region of East Asia. However, the ratio of PM2.5 mass concentration to PM10 increases overall with a high level in summer. Aerosol types were classified into dust, smoke plume, and sulphate by using satellite data over Cheongwon in central Korea. The columnar AOD, with different aerosol types, was compared with the ground-based mass concentrations at Cheongwon, and the relatively high level of the correlations presented between PM2.5 and AOD produced in sulphate. Growth and increases of fine hygroscopic aerosols generated as gas-to-particle conversion particularly in summer contribute to increases of columnar AOD in the East Asian region. © The Korean Meteorological Society and Springer 2014.


Chung Y.S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research | Kim H.S.,Korea Center for Atmospheric Environment Research
Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health | Year: 2015

Just before midnight on August 12, 2015, violent explosions and massive fires occurred in the Tianjin Harbor, China, releasing extensive amounts of toxic gas and smoke, debris, and mineral dust into the atmosphere. Atmospheric damage resulted from the long-range transport of air pollutants (LRTAP) in neighboring areas and countries. It has been found that the smoke plumes circled around the Huabei Plain in the lee of the Taihang Mountains, the Shandong Peninsula, and the Bohai Sea before reaching the Yellow Sea and the Korean Peninsula. The transport of widespread smoke plumes in the Yellow Sea region was evidenced from detailed analyses of images from various satellites including NOAA, MODIS, Himawari, and MTSAT. Satellite images clearly showed the generation of smoke emissions from Tianjin, the entire covering of smoke plumes over the Yellow Sea and nearby shore areas, and the LRTAP to the Korean Peninsula. The deposit of soil dust after the trace of rainfall confirmed LRTAP from the explosions and large fires in Tianjin. Also, air quality measurements of particulate matter (PM) 10, PM2.5, O3, CO, and visibility showed the atmospheric impact of widespread smoke plumes from Tianjin. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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