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Atmospheric Chemistry Measurements at Whiteface Mountain, NY: Cloud Water Chemistry, Precipitation Chemistry, and Particulate Matter

Category: Aerosol and Trace Gas Climatology

Volume: 16 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 841-854
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2015.05.0344
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James J. Schwab 1, Paul Casson1, Richard Brandt1, Liquat Husain1, Vincent Dutkewicz1,2, Douglas Wolfe1, Kenneth L. Demerjian1, Kevin L. Civerolo1, Oliver V. Rattigan3, H. Dirk Felton3, James E. Dukett4

  • 1 Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany and Wilmington, NY 12222, USA
  • 2 School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY 12222, USA
  • 3 Division of Air Resources, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY 12233, USA
  • 4 Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation, Ray Brook, NY 12977, USA

Highlights

Cloud water deposition is very important at this mountain site.

Acidic deposition from clouds has decreased in the past two decades.

Precipitation chemistry confirms these decreases.

30 years of BC samples illustrate decreasing concentrations.

PM2.5 mass and species concentrations show a pattern of changing composition.


Abstract

Long-term records of condensed-phase chemical data are presented from the Adirondack Mountain region of northern New York, USA. These data records are particularly valuable due to the combinations of aerosol, cloud, and precipitation measurements. Objectives of the research and this overview paper include the evaluation of emission reductions of regulated air pollutants and the observed effects on measured deposition, as well as the implications of changing pollutant concentration levels on human health and climate.  Summer season cloud chemistry and year-round wet deposition and particulate matter data from two stations on Whiteface Mountain are presented to highlight some of the research and monitoring activities at this mountain location. Clear decreases in the anion concentrations and increases in pH over the past two decades have been observed in cloud and precipitation results. Large decreases in aerosol sulfate (> 80%) and aerosol optical black carbon (> 60%) have been observed for these species over the nearly 40 year summit observatory data record for these measurements, and decreases in PM2.5 mass, sulfate, nitrate, and ammonium have also been recorded over the shorter 15 year period of measurement at the Marble Mountain Lodge level. The studies cited here highlight some of the past successes of air pollution regulation under the Clean Air Act and Amendments and pave the way for future progress in reducing air pollution.

Keywords

Acidic deposition Regional air quality Air pollution regulation Atmospheric chemistry Aerosol chemistry Particulate matter Black carbon


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