Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 20673-20716, 2012
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/12/20673/2012/
doi:10.5194/acpd-12-20673-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Effects of biogenic nitrate chemistry on the NOx lifetime in remote continental regions
E. C. Browne1 and R. C. Cohen1,2
1Department of Chemistry, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA
2Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

Abstract. We present an analysis of the NOx budget in conditions of low NOx (NOx = NO + NO2) chemistry and high biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) concentrations that are characteristic of most continental boundary layers. Using a steady-state model, we show that below 500 pptv of NOx, the NOx lifetime is extremely sensitive to organic nitrate (RONO2) formation rates. We find that even for RONO2 formation values that are an order of magnitude smaller than is typical for continental conditions significant reductions in NOx lifetime are caused by nitrate forming reactions. Comparison of the steady-state box model to a 3-D chemical transport model (CTM) confirms that the concepts illustrated by the simpler model are a useful approximation of predictions provided by the full CTM.

Citation: Browne, E. C. and Cohen, R. C.: Effects of biogenic nitrate chemistry on the NOx lifetime in remote continental regions, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 20673-20716, doi:10.5194/acpd-12-20673-2012, 2012.
 
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