Andrew P. Ault, Meagan J. Moore, Hiroshi Furutani, and Kimberly A. Prather
Oceangoing ships emit an estimated 1.2-1.6 million metric tons (Tg) of PM10 per year and represent a significant source of air pollution to coastal communities. As shown herein, ship and other emissions near the Los Angeles and Long Beach Port region strongly influence air pollution levels in the San Diego area. During time periods with regional transport, atmospheric aerosol measurements in La Jolla, California show an increase in 0.5-1 μm sized single particles with unique signatures including soot, metals (i.e., vanadium, iron, and nickel), sulfate, and nitrate. These particles are attributed to primary emissions from residual oil sources such as ships and refineries, as well as traffic in the port region, and secondary processing during transport. During regional transport events, particulate matter concentrations were 2-4 times higher than typical average concentrations from local sources, indicating the health, environmental, and climate impacts from these emission sources must be taken into consideration in the San Diego region. Unless significant regulations are imposed on shipping-related activities, these emission sources will become even more important to California air quality as cars and truck emissions undergo further regulations and residual oil sources such as shipping continue to expand.