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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1065
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1065
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 10 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 10 Jan 2020

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Tropospheric ozone radiative forcing uncertainty due to pre-industrial fire and biogenic emissions

Matthew J. Rowlinson1, Alexandru Rap1, Douglas S. Hamilton2, Richard J. Pope1,3, Stijn Hantson4,5, Stephen R. Arnold1, Jed O. Kaplan6,7,8, Almut Arneth4, Martyn P. Chipperfield1,3, Piers M. Forster9, and Lars Nieradzik10 Matthew J. Rowlinson et al.
  • 1Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
  • 2Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science, Cornell University, Ithaca 14853 NY, USA
  • 3National Centre for Earth Observation, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
  • 4Atmospheric Environmental Research, Institute of Meteorology and Climate research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 5Geospatial Data Solutions Center, University of California Irvine, California 92697, USA
  • 6ARVE Research SARL, Pully 1009, Switzerland
  • 7Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
  • 8Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena 07745, Germany
  • 9Priestley International Centre for Climate, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT, Leeds, UK
  • 10Institute for Physical Geography and Ecosystem Sciences, Lund University, Lund S-223 62, Sweden

Abstract. Tropospheric ozone concentrations are sensitive to natural emissions of precursor compounds. In contrast to existing assumptions, recent evidence indicates that terrestrial vegetation emissions in the pre-industrial were larger than in the present-day. We use a chemical transport model and a radiative transfer model to show that revised inventories of pre-industrial fire and biogenic emissions lead to an increase in simulated pre-industrial ozone concentrations, decreasing the estimated pre-industrial to present-day tropospheric ozone radiative forcing of up to 34 % (0.38 W m-2 to 0.25 W m-2). We find that this change is sensitive to employing biomass burning and biogenic emissions inventories based on matching vegetation patterns, as co-location of emission sources enhances the effect on ozone formation. Our forcing estimates are at the lower end of existing uncertainty range estimates (0.2–0.6 W m-22), without accounting for other sources of uncertainty. Thus, future work should focus on reassessing the uncertainty range of tropospheric ozone radiative forcing.

Matthew J. Rowlinson et al.
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Short summary
Tropospheric ozone is an important greenhouse gas which contributed to anthropogenic climate change, however the effect of human emissions is uncertain as pre-industrial ozone concentrations are not well understood. We use revised inventories of pre-industrial natural emissions to simulate the human contribution to changes in tropospheric ozone. We find that tropospheric ozone radiative forcing is up to 34% lower when improved pre-industrial emissions from fires and vegetation are used.
Tropospheric ozone is an important greenhouse gas which contributed to anthropogenic climate...
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