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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© 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.

Research article 06 May 2019

Research article | 06 May 2019

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

New Constraints on Biogenic Emissions using Satellite-Based Estimates of Carbon Monoxide Fluxes

Helen M. Worden1, A. Anthony Bloom2, John R. Worden2, Zhe Jiang3, Eloise Marais4, Trissevgeni Stavrakou5, Benjamin Gaubert1, and Forrest Lacey1 Helen M. Worden et al.
  • 1Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modelling (ACOM), National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, CO, USA
  • 2Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 3School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • 4Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • 5Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB), Brussels, Belgium

Abstract. Biogenic non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) emitted from vegetation are a primary source for the chemical production of carbon monoxide (CO) in the atmosphere and these biogenic emissions account for about 18 % of the global CO burden. Partitioning CO fluxes to different source types in top-down inversion methods is challenging and typically a simple scaling of the posterior flux to prior flux values for fossil fuel, biogenic and biomass burning sources is used. Here we show top-down estimates of biogenic CO fluxes using a Bayesian inference approach, which explicitly accounts for both posterior and a priori CO flux uncertainties. This approach re-partitions CO fluxes following inversion of Measurements Of Pollution In The Troposphere (MOPITT) CO observations with the GEOS-Chem model, a global chemical transport model driven by assimilated meteorology from the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS). We compare these results to the prior information for CO used to represent biogenic NMVOCs from GEOS-Chem, which uses the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN) for biogenic emissions. We evaluate the a posteriori biogenic CO fluxes against top-down estimates of isoprene fluxes using Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) formaldehyde observations. We find similar seasonality and spatial consistency in the posterior CO and top-down isoprene estimates globally. For the African savanna region, both top-down CO and isoprene seasonality vary significantly from the MEGAN apriori inventory. This method for estimating biogenic sources of CO will provide an independent constraint on modelled biogenic emissions and has the potential for diagnosing decadal-scale changes in emissions due to land-use change and climate variability.

Helen M. Worden et al.
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Helen M. Worden et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Biogenic non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) emitted from vegetation play a significant role in air quality and climate. However, there are large uncertainties in their role for climate. We present a Bayesian approach to estimate carbon monoxide fluxes that are chemically produced from biogenic sources. This provides independent constraints on models that predict biogenic emissions in order improve their capability for predicting air quality and future climate scenarios.
Biogenic non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) emitted from vegetation play a...