1Centre For Atmospheric Science, S. E. A. E. S., University Of Manchester, UK
2School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
3Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, S. E. E., University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
4Department of Chemistry, University of York, York, N. Yorkshire, UK
*now at: University Of Toronto, Canada
Abstract. This paper presents measurements of organic aerosols above subtropical West Africa during the wet season using data from the UK Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM) aircraft. Measurements of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC) at low altitudes over these subtropical forests were made during the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) field experiment during July and August 2006 mainly above Benin, Nigeria and Niger. Data from an Aerodyne Quadrupole Aerosol Mass Spectrometer show a median organic aerosol loading of 1.08 μg m−3 over tropical West Africa, which represents the first regionally averaged assessment of organic aerosol mass (OM) in this region during the wet season. This is in good agreement with predictions based on aerosol yields from isoprene and monoterpenes during chamber studies and model predictions based on partitioning schemes, contrasting markedly with the large under representations of OM in similar models when compared with data from mid latitudes.