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Published September 1, 1999 | Published
Journal Article Open

Estimate of global atmospheric organic aerosol from oxidation of biogenic hydrocarbons


The results from a series of outdoor chamber experiments establishing the atmospheric aerosol-forming potential of fourteen terpenoid hydrocarbons have been used to estimate the annual amount of secondary organic aerosol formed globally from compounds emitted by vegetation. Hydroxyl radical, ozone, and nitrate radical oxidation each contribute to aerosol formation in full-photooxidation experiments; because oxidation by nitrate radical under ambient, remote conditions is likely to be negligible, parameters describing aerosol formation from hydroxyl radical and ozone reaction only are developed. Chamber results, temporally and spatially resolved, compound-specific estimates of biogenic hydrocarbon emissions, and hydroxyl radical and ozone fields are combined to lead to an estimate for atmospheric secondary organic aerosol formed annually from biogenic precursors of 18.5 Tg, a number smaller than the previously published estimate of 30–270 Tg [Andreae and Crutzen, 1997].

Additional Information

Copyright 1999 by the American Geophysical Union. (Received April 1, 1999; revised June 2, 1999; accepted June 4, 1999.) Paper number 1999GL900476. We gratefully acknowledge support by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation.

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