Regional variability in black carbon and carbon monoxide ratio from long-term observations over East Asia: Assessment of representativeness for black carbon (BC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emission inventories

Yongjoo Choi, Yugo Kanaya, Seung Myung Park, Atsushi Matsuki, Yasuhiro Sadanaga, Sang Woo Kim, Itsushi Uno, Xiaole Pan, Meehye Lee, Hyunjae Kim, Dong Hee Jung

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The black carbon (BC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emission ratios were estimated and compiled from longterm, harmonized observations of the ΔBC/ΔCO ratios under conditions unaffected by wet deposition at four sites in East Asia, including two sites in South Korea (Baengnyeong and Gosan) and two sites in Japan (Noto and Fukuoka). Extended spatio-temporal coverage enabled estimation of the full seasonality and elucidation of the emission ratio in North Korea for the first time. The estimated ratios were used to validate the Regional Emission inventory in ASia (REAS) version 2.1 based on six study domains ("East China", "North China", "Northeast China", South Korea, North Korea, and Japan). We found that the ΔBC/ΔCO ratios from four sites converged into a narrow range (6.2-7.9 ngm-3 ppb-1), suggesting consistency in the results from independent observations and similarity in source profiles over the regions. The BC/CO ratios from the REAS emission inventory (7.7 ngm-3 ppb-1 for East China - 23.2 ngm-3 ppb-1 for South Korea) were overestimated by factors of 1.1 for East China to 3.0 for South Korea, whereas the ratio for North Korea (3.7 ngm-3 ppb-1 from REAS) was underestimated by a factor of 2.0, most likely due to inaccurate emissions from the road transportation sector. Seasonal variation in the BC/CO ratio from REAS was found to be the highest in winter (China and North Korea) or summer (South Korea and Japan), whereas the measured ΔBC/ΔCO ratio was the highest in spring in all source regions, indicating the need for further characterization of the seasonality when creating a bottom-up emission inventory. At levels of administrative districts, overestimation in Seoul, the southwestern regions of South Korea, and Northeast China was noticeable, and underestimation was mainly observed in the western regions in North Korea, including Pyongyang. These diagnoses are useful for identifying regions where revisions in the inventory are necessary, providing guidance for the refinement of BC and CO emission rate estimates over East Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-98
Number of pages16
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 3


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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