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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-83
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-83
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 03 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 03 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Temperature response measurements from eucalypts give insight into the impact of Australian isoprene emissions on air quality in 2050

Kathryn M. Emmerson1, Malcolm Possell2, Michael J. Aspinwall3,4, Sebastian Pfautsch3, and Mark G. Tjoelker3 Kathryn M. Emmerson et al.
  • 1Climate Science Centre, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Aspendale, VIC 3195 Australia
  • 2School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • 3Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Penrith, NSW, Australia
  • 4Department of Biology, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, 32224 USA

Abstract. Predicting future air quality in Australian cities dominated by eucalypt emissions requires an understanding of their emission potentials in a warmer climate. Here we measure the temperature response in isoprene emissions from saplings of four different Eucalyptus species grown under current and future average summertime temperature conditions. The future conditions represent a 2050 climate under Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, with average daytime temperatures of 294.5 K. Ramping the temperature from 293 K to 328 K resulted in these eucalypts emitting isoprene at temperatures 4–9 K higher than default maximum emission temperature in the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN). New basal emission rate measurements were obtained at the standard conditions of 303 K leaf temperature and 1000 μmol m−2 s−1 photosynthetically active radiation and converted into landscape emission factors. We applied the eucalypt temperature responses and emission factors to Australian trees within MEGAN and ran the CSIRO Chemical Transport Model for three summertime campaigns in Australia. Compared to the default model, the new temperature responses resulted in less isoprene emission in the morning and more during hot afternoons, improving the statistical fit of modelled to observed ambient isoprene. Compared to current conditions, an additional 2 ppb of isoprene is predicted in 2050 causing hourly increases up to 21 ppb of ozone and 24-hourly increases of 0.4 μg m−3 of aerosol in Sydney. This forecasted increase in ozone is one fifth of the hourly Australian air quality limit and suggests anthropogenic NOx should be further reduced to maintain healthy air quality in future.

Kathryn M. Emmerson et al.

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Kathryn M. Emmerson et al.

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Latest update: 18 Feb 2020
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Short summary
Australian cities with a high biogenic influence will see higher pollution levels in a warmer climate. We show four Eucalyptus species grown in future climate conditions are capable of emitting isoprene 9 K beyond the peak temperatures capping isoprene in biogenic emission models. Using these measurements, we predict increases up to 2 ppb of isoprene in 2050, leading to an extra 21 ppb of ozone and 0.4 μg m−3 of aerosol in Sydney. The ozone increase is one fifth of the hourly air quality limit.
Australian cities with a high biogenic influence will see higher pollution levels in a warmer...
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