Paris, 18 april 2013

Pollution plumes in Paris air are richer in gaseous aromatic compounds than in Los Angeles

What is the origin of the volatile hydrocarbons, other than methane, present in city air? Mainly gasoline-powered vehicles1, according to a study carried out by a French-US team2 including French researchers from the Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques (LISA/IPSL3, CNRS / UPEC / Université Paris Diderot) and the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE/IPSL, CNRS / CEA / Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines). The study also shows that the proportion of gaseous aromatic compounds4 in hydrocarbon emissions is two to three times greater in pollution plumes in Paris than in Los Angeles, even though the total quantity of hydrocarbons emitted in Los Angeles remains considerably greater than in Paris. The research is published in the journal Journal of Geophysical Research.

To download the press release : Pollution


1Volatile hydrocarbons are only one component of automobile pollution and do not concern particle emissions from automobiles.
2Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (University of Colorado), Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA) and Department of Atmospheric Sciences (University of California).
3IPSL (Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace) brings together six environmental science laboratories including LISA and LSCE.
4Apart from benzene.


Emission ratios of anthropogenic VOC in northern mid-latitude megacities: observations vs. emission inventories in Los Angeles and Paris. Borbon, A., J. B. Gilman, W. C. Kuster, N. Grand, S. Chevaillier, A. Colomb, C. Dolgorouky, V. Gros, M. Lopez, R. Sarda-Estève, J. S. Holloway, J. Stutz, H. Petetin, S. A. McKeen, M. Beekmann, C. Warneke, D. D. Parrish, and J. A. de Gouw,
Journal of Geophysical Research, Article first published online 27 February 2013.
Volume 118, Issue 4. Pages 1585–2083. doi:10.1029/2012JD018235.


CNRS researcher l Agnès Borbon I T +33 (0)1 45 17 15 88 l
CNRS Press Office l Priscilla Dacher I T +33 (0)1 44 96 46 06 l


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