The tropical Northwest Pacific (TNWP) is a receptor for pollution sources throughout Asia and is highly susceptible to climate change, making it imperative to understand long-range transport in this complex aerosol-meteorological environment. Measurements from the NASA Cloud, Aerosol, and Monsoon Processes Philippines Experiment (CAMP2Ex; 24 August to 5 October 2019) and back trajectories from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory Model (HYSPLIT) were used to examine transport into the TNWP from the Maritime Continent (MC), peninsular Southeast Asia (PSEA), East Asia (EA), and the West Pacific (WP). A mid-campaign monsoon shift on 20 September 2019 led to distinct transport patterns between the southwest monsoon (SWM; before 20 September) and monsoon transition (MT; after 20 September). During the SWM, long-range transport was a function of southwesterly winds and cyclones over the South China Sea. Low- (high-) altitude air generally came from MC (PSEA), implying distinct aerosol processing related to convection and perhaps wind shear. The MT saw transport from EA and WP, driven by Pacific northeasterly winds, continental anticyclones, and cyclones over the East China Sea. Composition of transported air differed by emission source and accumulated precipitation along trajectories (APT). MC air was characterized by biomass burning tracers while major components of EA air pointed to Asian outflow and secondary formation. Convective scavenging of PSEA air was evidenced by considerable vertical differences between aerosol species but not trace gases, as well as notably higher APT and smaller particles than other regions. Finally, we observed a possible wet scavenging mechanism acting on MC air aloft that was not strictly linked to precipitation. These results are important for understanding the transport and processing of air masses with further implications for modeling aerosol lifecycles and guiding international policymaking to public health and climate, particularly during the SWM and MT.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


This research was funded by NASA grant 80NSSC18K0148 in support of CAMP²Ex.

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1680-7316; 1680-7324

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Article - Journal

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Publication Date

15 Mar 2021