Global atmospheric transport of arsenic

S. Wu, Michigan Technological University
K. M. Wai, Michigan Technological University
X. Li, Michigan Technological University


© 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, London. Arsenic and many of it compounds are toxic pollutants in the global environment. They can be transported long distance in the atmosphere before depositing to the surface, but the global source-receptor relationships between various regions have not been studied yet. We develop the first global model for arsenic to better understand and quantify the inter-continental transport of arsenic. Our model reproduces the observed arsenic concentrations in surface air for various sites around the world. Arsenic emissions from Asia and South America are found to be the dominant sources for arsenic in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, respectively. Asian emissions are calculated to contribute 39% and 38% of the total arsenic deposition over the Arctic and Northern America, respectively. Another 14% of the arsenic deposition to the Arctic region is attributed to European emissions. Our results indicate that the reduction of anthropogenic arsenic emissions in Asia and South America can significantly reduce arsenic pollution not only locally but also globally.