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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 17 Apr 2019

Submitted as: research article | 17 Apr 2019

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

Global modeling of fungal spores with the EMAC chemistryclimate model: uncertainties in emission parametrizations and observations

Meryem Tanarhte1,2, Sara Bacer1, Susannah M. Burrows3, J. Alex Huffman4, Kyle M. Pierce4, Andrea Pozzer1, Roland Sarda-Estève5, Nicole J. Savage4,a, and Jos Lelieveld1,6 Meryem Tanarhte et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Department of Air Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 2University Hassan II-Casablanca, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Mohammedia, Morocco
  • 3Atmospheric Science and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
  • 4University of Denver, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Denver, USA
  • 5Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, CEA/CNRS-UVSQ, 91191, Gif/Yvette, France
  • 6The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • anow at: Aerosol Devices, Inc.

Abstract. Primary biological aerosol particles (PBAPs) may impact human health and aerosol-cloud-climate interactions. The role of PBAPs in the earth system is associated with large uncertainties, for example of source estimates and the atmospheric lifetime. We used a chemistry-climate model to simulate PBAPs in the atmosphere including bacteria and fungal spores. Three fungal spore emission parameterizations have been evaluated against an updated set of spore counts synthesized from observations reported in the literature. The comparison indicates an optimal fit for the emission parameterization proposed by Heald and Spracklen (2009) and adapted by Hoose et al. (2010) for particle sizes of 5 µm or 3 µm, although the model still overpredicts PBAP concentrations in some locations. The correlations between the spore count observations and meteorological parameters simulated by the model show a strong dependence on the leaf area index in non-urban areas and the specific humidity in urban areas. Additional evaluation was performed by comparing our combined bacteria and fungal spore simulations to a global dataset of fluorescent biological aerosol particle (FBAP) concentrations. The model predicts the total sum of measured PBAP concentrations relatively well, typically within a factor of two of FBAP. Further, the modeled fungal spore results deviate from the FBAP concentrations when used as a rough proxy for spores, depending on the particle size used in the parametrization. Uncertainties related to technical aspects of the FBAP and direct-counting spore measurements challenge the ability to further refine quantitative comparison on this scale. Additional long-term data of better quality are needed to improve emission parameterizations.

Meryem Tanarhte et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Meryem Tanarhte et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Bioaerosols have been an important topic in atmospheric science in the last two decades. This paper compares different emission parametrizations used in fungal spores modeling and compare their results to two sets of new observational datasets. It emphasises their uncertainties in order to improve their modeling in the future. This comparison is addressed primarily to the scientific community (publishing in ACP) interested in this type of modeling and the related experimental work in this field.
Bioaerosols have been an important topic in atmospheric science in the last two decades. This...