European air quality legislation has reduced emissions of air pollutants across Europe since the 1970s, affecting air quality, human health and regional climate. We used a coupled composition-climate model to simulate the impacts of European air quality legislation and technology measures implemented between 1970 and 2010.

A method is developed for determination of levoglucosan at trace concentration levels in complex matrices of snow and ice samples. This method uses an injection mixture comprising acetonitrile and melt sample at a ratio of 50/50 (v/v). Samples are analyzed using ultra-performance liquid chromatography system combined with triple tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). Levoglucosan is analyzed on BEH Amide column (2.1 mm×100 mm, 1.7 um), and a Z-spray electrospray ionization source is used for levoglucosan ionization.

The Amazon basin is a vast continental area in which atmospheric composition is relatively unaffected by anthropogenic aerosol particles. Understanding the properties of the natural biogenic aerosol particles over the Amazon rainforest is key to understanding their influence on regional and global climate. While there have been a number of studies during the wet season, and of biomass burning particles in the dry season, there has been relatively little work on the transition period - the 5 start of the dry season in the absence of biomass burning.

We use the GLOMAP global aerosol model evaluated against observations of surface particulate matter (PM2.5) and aerosol optical depth (AOD) to better understand the impacts of biomass burning on tropical aerosol. To explore the uncertainty in emissions we use three satellite-derived fire emission datasets (GFED3, GFAS1 and FINN1) in the model, in which tropical fires account for 66–84 % of global particulate emissions from fire. The model underestimates PM2.5 concentrations where observations are available over South America and AOD over South America, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Precipitation associated with the South Asian summer monsoon has decreased by approximately 7% since 1950, but the reasons for this are unclear. Now research suggests that changes in land-cover patterns and increased emissions from human activities have contributed to this weakening, which is expected to continue in the coming decades.

Secondary pollutants such as ozone, secondary inorganic aerosol, and secondary organic aerosol formed in the plumes of megacities can affect regional air quality. In the framework of the FP7/EU MEGAPOLI (Megacities: Emissions, urban, regional and Global Atmospheric POLlution and climate effects, and Integrated tools for assessment and mitigation) project, an intensive campaign was launched in the greater Paris region in July 2009. The major objective was to quantify different sources of organic aerosol (OA) within a megacity and in its plume.

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was employed to obtain morphology, size, composition, and mixing state of background aerosols with diameter less than 1 µm in the northern Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP) during 15 September to 15 October 2013. Individual aerosol particles mainly contained secondary inorganic aerosols (SIA – sulfate and nitrate) and organics during clean periods (PM2.5 mass concentration less than 2.5 µg m−3 ).

The importance of light-absorbing organic aerosols, often called brown carbon (BrC), has become evident in recent years. However, there have been relatively few measurement-based estimates for the direct radiative effect of BrC so far. In earlier studies, the AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET)-measured aerosol absorption optical depth (AAOD) and absorption Angstrom exponent (AAE) were exploited.

Atmospheric aerosols are of significant environmental importance, due to their effects on air quality, as well as their ability to alter the planet’s radiative balance. Recent studies characterizing the effects of climate change on air quality and the broader distribution of aerosols in the atmosphere show significant, but inconsistent results, including the sign of the effect.

Global dimming refers to the decrease in surface solar radiation (SSR) observed from the 1960s to the 1980s at different measurement sites all around the world. It is under debate whether anthropogenic aerosols emitted from urban areas close to the measurement sites are mainly responsible for the dimming. In order to assess this urbanization impact on SSR, we use spatially explicit population density data of 0.08° resolution to construct population indices (PI) at 157 high data quality sites.

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