Contribution of isoprene to chemical budgets: A model tracer study with the NCAR CTM MOZART-4

G.G. Pfister, L.K. Emmons, P.G. Hess, J.-F. Lamarque, J.J. Orlando, S. Walters, A. Guenther, P.I. Palmer, P.J. Lawrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We present a study of the sensitivity of isoprene emission calculations in a global chemistry transport model (CTM) to input land cover characteristics and analyze the impacts of changes in isoprene on the tropospheric budgets of atmospheric key species. The CTM Model for Ozone and Related Chemical Species, version 4 (MOZART-4) includes the online calculation of isoprene emissions based on the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN), which is driven by three different land parameter inputs. We also included a tagging scheme in the CTM, which keeps track of the production of carbon containing species from isoprene oxidation. It is found that the amount of tropospheric carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde (HCHO) and peroxyacetylnitrate (PAN) explained by isoprene oxidation ranges from 9-16%, 15-27%, and 22-32%, depending on the isoprene emissions scenario. Changes in the global tropospheric burden with different land cover inputs can reach up to 10% for CO, 15% for HCHO, and 20% for PAN. Changes for ozone are small on a global scale, but regionally differences are as large as 3DU in the tropospheric column and as large as 5 ppbv in the surface concentrations. Our results demonstrate that a careful integration of isoprene emissions and chemistry in CTMs is very important for simulating the budgets of a number of atmospheric trace gases. We further demonstrate that the model tagging scheme has the capability of improving conventional methods of constraining isoprene emissions from space-borne HCHO column observations, especially in regions where a considerable part of the variability in the HCHO column is not related to isoprene.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2008


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