1Max-Planck-Institute for Chemistry, Department of Atmospheric Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
2University of Mainz, Institute for Physics of the Atmosphere, Mainz,Germany
Abstract. Soil biogenic NO emissions (SNOx) play important direct and indirect roles in chemical processes of the troposphere. The most widely applied algorithm to calculate SNOx in global models was published 15 years ago by Yienger and Levy (1995), was based on very few measurements. Since then numerous new measurements have been published, which we used to build up a atabase of field measurements conducted world wide covering the period from 1978 to 2009, including 108 publications with 560 measurements.
Recently, several satellite based top-down approaches, which recalculated the different sources of NOx (fossil fuel, biomass burning, soil and lightning), have shown an underestimation of SNOx by the algorithm of Yienger and Levy (1995). Nevertheless, to our knowledge no general improvements of this algorithm have yet been published.
Here we present major improvements to the algorithm, which should help to optimize the representation of SNOx in atmospheric-chemistry global climate models, without modifying the underlying principal or mathematical equations. The changes include: 1) Using a new up to date land cover map, with twice the number of land cover classes, and using annually varying fertilizer application rates; 2) Adopting the fraction of SNOx induced by fertilizer application based on our database; 3) Switching from soil water column to volumetric soil moisture, to distinguish between the wet and dry state; 4) Tuning the emission factors to reproduce the measured emissions in our database and calculate the emissions based on their mean value. These steps lead us to increased global yearly SNOx, and our total SNOx source ends up being close to one of the top-down approaches. In some geographical regions the new results agree better with the top-down approach, but there are also distinct differences in other regions. This suggests that a ombination of both top-down and bottom-up approaches could be combined in a future attempt to provide an even better calculation of SNOx.