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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 17 Oct 2018

Research article | 17 Oct 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Effects of two different biogenic emission models on modelled ozone and aerosol concentrations in Europe

Jianhui Jiang1, Sebnem Aksoyoglu1, Giancarlo Ciarelli2, Emmanouil Oikonomakis1, Imad El-Haddad1, Francesco Canonaco1, Colin O'Dowd3,4, Jurgita Ovadnevaite3,4, María Cruz Minguillón5, Urs Baltensperger1, and André S. H. Prévôt1 Jianhui Jiang et al.
  • 1Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
  • 2Laboratoire Inter-Universitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques (LISA), UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Créteil, France
  • 3School of Physics, Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland Galway, University Road, H91CF50 Galway, Ireland
  • 4Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland
  • 5Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA), CSIC, 08034 Barcelona, Spain

Abstract. Biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions are one of the essential inputs for chemical transport models (CTMs), but their estimates are associated with large uncertainties leading to significant influences on air quality modelling. This study aims at investigating the effects of using different BVOC emission models on the performance of a CTM in simulating secondary pollutants, i.e. ozone, organic and inorganic aerosols. The European air quality was simulated for the year 2011 by the regional air quality model Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions (CAMx) version 6.3, using BVOC emissions calculated by two emission models: the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) model and the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosol from Nature (MEGAN) v2.1. Comparison of isoprene and monoterpene emissions from both models showed large differences in their general amounts as well as their spatial distribution both in summer and winter. MEGAN produced more isoprene emissions by a factor of 3 while the PSI model generated three times of monoterpene emissions in summer, while there was negligible difference (~4%) in sesquiterpene emissions associated with the two models. Despite the large differences in isoprene emissions (i.e. 3-fold), the resulting impact in predicted summer-time ozone proved to be minor (<10%, O3-MEGAN was higher than O3-PSI by ~7ppb). Comparisons with measurements from the European air quality database (AirBase) indicated that PSI emissions might improve the model performance at low ozone concentrations, but worsen it at high ozone levels (>60ppb). A much larger effect of the different BVOC emissions was found for the secondary organic aerosol (SOA) concentrations. The higher monoterpene emissions (a factor of ~3) by the PSI model led to higher SOA by ~110% on average in summer, compared to MEGAN, improving substantially the model performance for organic aerosol (OA): the mean bias between modelled and measured OA at 8 Aerodyne aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM)/Aerodyne aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) measurement stations was reduced by 21%–83% in rural/remote stations. Effects on inorganic aerosols (particulate nitrate, sulphate, and ammonia) were relatively smaller (<15%).

Jianhui Jiang et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Jianhui Jiang et al.
Jianhui Jiang et al.
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Short summary
Biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions from vegetation are essential inputs for air quality models but their uncertainties are very high. In this study we show the importance of BVOC emissions for modeled ozone and aerosol concentrations in Europe. Using different biogenic emissions from MEGAN and PSI models significantly affected especially organic aerosols (smaller effect on ozone), indicating the importance of harmonizing the BVOC emissions in the model inter-comparison studies.
Biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions from vegetation are essential inputs for air...