Minderytė A., Ugboma E.A., Mirza Montoro F.F., Stachlewska I.S., Byčenkienė S.
Urban areas, as major sources of aerosol black carbon emissions, contribute to increased pollution levels in surrounding regions by air mass longrange transport, which should be taken into account in implementation of emission-reduction strategies. Properties of light-absorbing aerosol particles and a novel approach to assess the impact of long-range transport on black carbon (BC) pollution in two under-investigated urban environments: Warsaw (Poland, Central Europe) and Vilnius (Lithuania, North-Eastern Europe) are presented. During the warm season of May–August 2022, BC mass concentration and aerosol optical properties: the scattering Ångstr¨om exponent (SAE), absorption Ångstr¨om exponent (AAE), and single scattering albedo (SSA) were investigated. Generally, the mean BC mass concentration was higher at the more polluted site in Warsaw (1.07 μg/m3) than in Vilnius (0.77 μg/m3). The BC source apportionment to biomass burning (BCBB) and fossil fuel combustion (BCFF) showed similar contributions for both sites with BCBB (13–19%) being significantly lower than BCFF (81–87%). A uniform flow of air masses transporting aerosol particles over long distances to both sites was observed for 42% of the days. It affected BC mass concentration as follows: BC decrease was found similar at both sites (42% in Warsaw, 50% in Vilnius) but increase was twice higher in Vilnius (64%) than in Warsaw (30%). Despite variations in BC mass concentration, both sites exhibited a comparable abundance (90%) of submicron (SAE<1.3), BC-dominated (AAE<1.5) particles. The mean SSA was very low (0.69 ± 0.1 in Warsaw, 0.72 ± 0.1 in Vilnius), which indicates a very strong contribution of light-absorbing aerosol particles in both environments. The local episodes of biomass burning due to celebrations of May Days on 1st – 3rd May in Warsaw and Midsummer on 24th June in Vilnius showed similar aerosol properties in both cities (1.5<AAE<1.7, 1.7<SAE<2.2) but were highly different than any other during the entire campaign.
Heliyon, 2023, vol. 9(9), art. e19652, doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e19652