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Atmosphere 2014, 5(3), 622-634; doi:10.3390/atmos5030622

Diurnal Variability of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Atmosphere over the Remote Southern Atlantic Ocean

1
Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK
2
The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Cefas Lowestoft Laboratory, Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 0HT, UK
3
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland
4
Department of Environmental Chemistry, CSIC-IDAEA, Jordi Girona 18-24, E-08034 Barcelona, Spain
5
Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Gaustadalleen 21, NO-0349 Oslo, Norway
6
Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, RI 02882, USA
Current Affiliation: Department of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University, SE-11418 Stockholm, Sweden.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 May 2014 / Revised: 14 July 2014 / Accepted: 21 July 2014 / Published: 22 August 2014
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Abstract

A diel (24-h) cycle with daytime atmospheric concentrations higher than nighttime concentrations by a factor of 1.5–3 was observed for several low molecular weight polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in remote areas of the tropical South Atlantic during a cruise in October–November 2005. In contrast, high molecular weight PCBs and PAHs did not display diurnal variability. A model which has successfully explained diel variability of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) over land could not reproduce the observed diel cycle by considering variability in temperature, atmospheric OH radical concentrations, atmospheric boundary layer height and wind speed as causal factors. We used the model to conduct two bounding scenarios to explore the possibility that phytoplankton biomass turn-over in the surface ocean drives the observed variability in air concentrations. The model could only qualitatively reproduce the field observations of diel variability for low chlorinated PCB congeners when the ocean acts as a source of pollutants to the atmosphere, and when variability in biomass drives variability in the capacity of the surface ocean. View Full-Text
Keywords: persistent organic pollutants (POPs); diurnal cycle; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); South Atlantic persistent organic pollutants (POPs); diurnal cycle; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); South Atlantic
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gioia, R.; MacLeod, M.; Castro-Jiménez, J.; Nizzetto, L.; Dachs, J.; Lohmann, R.; Jones, K.C. Diurnal Variability of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Atmosphere over the Remote Southern Atlantic Ocean. Atmosphere 2014, 5, 622-634.

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