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Historical Trends of Biogenic SOA Tracers in an Ice Core from Kamchatka Peninsula

Fu, Pingqing, Kawamura, Kimitaka, Seki, Osamu, Izawa, Yusuke, Shiraiwa, Takayuki, Ashworth, Kirsti
Environmental Science & Technology Letters 2016 v.3 no.10 pp. 351-358
aerosols, air quality, atmospheric circulation, climate, emissions, ice, isoprene, models, monoterpenoids, tracer techniques, troposphere, uncertainty, Russia
Biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is ubiquitous in the Earth’s atmosphere, influencing climate and air quality. However, the historical trend of biogenic SOA is not well known. Here, we report for the first time the major isoprene- and monoterpene-derived SOA tracers preserved in an ice core from the Kamchatka Peninsula. Significant variations are recorded during the past 300 years with lower concentrations in the early-to-middle 19th century and higher concentrations in the preindustrial period and the present day. We discovered that isoprene SOA tracers were more abundant in the preindustrial period than the present day, while monoterpene SOA tracers stay almost unchanged. The causes of the observed variability are complex, depending on atmospheric circulation, changes in emissions, and other factors such as tropospheric oxidative capacity. Our data presents an unprecedented opportunity to shed light on the formation, evolution, and fate of atmospheric aerosols and to constrain the uncertainties associated with modeling their atmospheric concentrations.