Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 21259-21301, 2010
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/10/21259/2010/
doi:10.5194/acpd-10-21259-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review Status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Global modeling of organic aerosol: the importance of reactive nitrogen
H. O. T. Pye1, A. W. H. Chan1,*, M. P. Barkley2,**, and J. H. Seinfeld1
1Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA
2School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
*now at: Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
**now at: EOS Group, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, UK

Abstract. Reactive nitrogen compounds, specifically NOx and NO3, likely influence global organic aerosol levels. To assess these interactions, GEOS-Chem, a chemical transport model, is updated to include improved biogenic emissions (following MEGAN v2.1/2.04), a new organic aerosol tracer lumping scheme, aerosol from nitrate radical (NO3) oxidation of isoprene, and NOx-dependent terpene aerosol yields. As a result of significant nighttime terpene emissions, fast reaction of monoterpenes with the nitrate radical, and relatively high aerosol yields from NO3 oxidation, biogenic hydrocarbon-NO3 reactions are expected to be a major contributor to surface level aerosol concentrations in anthropogenically influenced areas such as the United States. By including aerosol from nitrate radical oxidation in GEOS-Chem, terpene aerosol approximately doubles and isoprene aerosol is enhanced by 30 to 40% in the Southeast United States. In terms of the global budget of organic aerosol, however, aerosol from nitrate radical oxidation is somewhat minor (slightly more than 3 Tg/yr) due to the relatively high volatility of organic-NO3 oxidation products. Globally, 69 to 88 Tg/yr of organic aerosol is predicted to be produced annually, of which 14–15 Tg/yr is from oxidation of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes and 8–9 Tg/yr from isoprene.

Citation: Pye, H. O. T., Chan, A. W. H., Barkley, M. P., and Seinfeld, J. H.: Global modeling of organic aerosol: the importance of reactive nitrogen, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 21259-21301, doi:10.5194/acpd-10-21259-2010, 2010.
 
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