• A personal note on IGBP and the social sciences

    Humans are an integral component of the Earth system as conceptualised by IGBP. João Morais recalls key milestones in IGBP’s engagement with the social sciences and offers some words of advice for Future Earth.
  • IGBP and Earth observation:
    a co-evolution

    The iconic images of Earth beamed back by the earliest spacecraft helped to galvanise interest in our planet’s environment. The subsequent evolution and development of satellites for Earth observation has been intricately linked with that of IGBP and other global-change research programmes, write Jack Kaye and Cat Downy .

Anthropogenic calcium particles observed in Beijing and Qingdao, China

Water, Air and Soil Pollution (2005)
Daizhou Z, Shi G, Iwasaka Y, Hu M and Yang J (eds)
Vol 5; Issue 3-6; pp. 261-276

Analysis of individual particles collected at Beijing in northern China revealed that particles abundant in calcium (Ca) always constituted a large fraction of mineral particles in the urban atmosphere. The particles were characterized by cubic morphologies. The major mineral element in the particles was Ca and few or no other mineral elements were detected. A large number of the particles were in the range of diameter <1 μm, where common natural mineral particles were rarely detected. The contribution of the Ca particles to the volume of total mineral particles greatly exceeded that of other mineral particles during non-dust-storm periods and was comparable to that during dust-storm periods. Reagent film tests showed that particulate sulfate and nitrate formation on the Ca particles was similar to that on common mineral particles. These results indicate that a large portion of Ca in the atmospheric particulate matter in Beijing was from anthropogenic sources rather than from natural sources, and the anthropogenic Ca particles acted as a significant medium for the formation of sulfate and nitrate. Similar particles were also detected at Qingdao, a coastal city in northern China. Data of a dust storm event showed that Ca-abundant particles from East China arrived there and moved out of the continent, similarly to Asian dust storm particles, suggesting possible contributions of anthropogenic Ca even in Asian dust storm samples in the downstream areas. Therefore, Ca may not be a good indicator of Asian dust from natural sources. However, the Ca particles, due to their unique shapes and elemental compositions, may provide an indicator for the atmospheric dispersion of anthropogenic particulate matters in East Asia.

Share this page
Tell a friend (opens in new window)
Follow us

Please note!

IGBP closed at the end of 2015. This website is no longer updated.

No events available

  • Global Change Magazine No. 84

    This final issue of the magazine takes stock of IGBP’s scientific and institutional accomplishments as well as its contributions to policy and capacity building. It features interviews of several past...

  • Global Change Magazine No. 83

    This issue features a special section on carbon. You can read about peak greenhouse-gas emissions in China, the mitigation of black carbon emissions and the effect of the 2010-2011 La Niña event on gl...