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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 11 Jun 2019

Submitted as: research article | 11 Jun 2019

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

Sensitivity of organic aerosol simulation scheme on biogenic organic aerosol concentrations in climate projections

Arineh Cholakian1,2,a, Matthias Beekmann1, Isabelle Coll1, Giancarlo Ciarelli1,b, and Augustin Colette2 Arineh Cholakian et al.
  • 1Laboratoire Inter-Universitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériautumnques (LISA), UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Créteil, France
  • 2Institut National de l’Environnement Industriel et des Risques, Parc Technologique ALATA, Verneuil-en-Halatte, France
  • anow at: EPOC, UMR 5805, Université de Bordeaux, Pessac, France
  • bnow at: Department of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA

Abstract. Organic aerosol can have important impacts on air quality and human health because of its chemical composition and its large contribution to the atmospheric fine aerosols. Simulation of this aerosol is difficult since there are many unknowns in the nature, mechanism and processes involved in the formation of these aerosols. These uncertainties become even more important in the context of a changing climate, because different mechanisms, and their representation in atmospheric models, imply different sensitivities to changes in climate variables. In this work, the effects caused by using different schemes to simulate OA are explored. Three schemes are used in this work: a molecular scheme, a standard volatility basis set (VBS) scheme with anthropogenic aging and a modified VBS scheme containing functionalization, fragmentation and formation of non-volatile SOA formation for all semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs). 5 years of historic and 5 years of future simulations were performed using the RCP8.5 climatic scenario. The years were chosen in a way to maximize the differences between future and historic simulations. The comparisons show that for the European area, the modified VBS scheme shows the highest relative change between future and historic simulations, while the molecular scheme shows the lowest (a factor of two lower). These changes are maximized over the summer period for biogenic SOA (BSOA) because the higher temperatures increase terpene and isoprene emissions, the major precursors of BSOA. This increase is partially off-set by a temperature induced shift of SVOCs to gas phase. This shift is indeed scheme dependent, and it is shown that it is the least pronounced for the modified VBS scheme including a full suite of aerosol aging processes, comprising also formation of non-volatile aerosol. For the Mediterranean Sea, without BVOC emissions, the OA changes are less pronounced and, at least on an annual average, more similar between different schemes. Absolute concentrations between different schemes are also different. Our results warrant further developments in organic aerosol schemes used for air quality modelling to reduce their uncertainty, including sensitivity to climate variables (temperature).

Arineh Cholakian et al.
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Arineh Cholakian et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Multiple organic aerosol simulation schemes were tested in climatic runs in order to assess their climate sensitivity. The test for each scheme contains 5 historic and 5 future years of simulation. A scheme validation was performed for the three schemes in order to assess their performance compared to measured data. The results show that the scheme taking into account fragmentation and formation of non-volatile SOA shows higher concentration changes when comparing historic and future scenarios.
Multiple organic aerosol simulation schemes were tested in climatic runs in order to assess...