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Published 2010 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Global modeling of organic aerosol: the importance of reactive nitrogen (NOₓ and NO₃)

  • 1. ROR icon California Institute of Technology


Reactive nitrogen compounds, specifically NOₓ and NO₃, likely influence global organic aerosol levels. To assess these interactions, GEOS-Chem, a chemical transport model, is updated to include improved biogenic emissions (following MEGAN v2.1/2.04), a new organic aerosol tracer lumping scheme, aerosol from nitrate radical (NO₃) oxidation of isoprene, and NOₓ-dependent monoterpene and sesquiterpene aerosol yields. As a result of significant nighttime terpene emissions, fast reaction of monoterpenes with the nitrate radical, and relatively high aerosol yields from NO₃ oxidation, biogenic hydrocarbon-NO₃ reactions are expected to be a major contributor to surface level aerosol concentrations in anthropogenically influenced areas such as the United States. By including aerosol from nitrate radical oxidation in GEOS-Chem, terpene (monoterpene + sesquiterpene) aerosol approximately doubles and isoprene aerosol is enhanced by 30 to 40% in the Southeast United States. In terms of the global budget of organic aerosol, however, aerosol from nitrate radical oxidation is somewhat minor (slightly more than 3 Tg/yr) due to the relatively high volatility of organic-NO₃ oxidation products in the yield parameterization. Globally, 69 to 88 Tg/yr of organic aerosol is predicted to be produced annually, of which 14–15 Tg/yr is from oxidation of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes and 8–9 Tg/yr from isoprene.

Additional Information

© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Received: 16 August 2010 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 7 September 2010. Revised: 19 November 2010 – Accepted: 23 November 2010 – Published: 30 November 2010. The numerical simulations for this research were performed on Caltech's Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences Dell cluster. The authors would like to thank Dylan Millet for guidance linking MEGAN to GEOS-Chem. The authors would also like to thank Fabien Paulot, Nathan Eddingsaas, Jason Surratt, and Joseph Ensberg for useful discussions. The authors would also like to thank Paul Wennberg for feedback on the manuscript. This research has was supported by the Office of Science (BER), US Department of Energy, Grant No. DE-FG02-05ER63983 and STAR Research Agreement No. RD-833749 awarded by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It has not been formally reviewed by the EPA. The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the authors. MPB was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (grant NE/D001471).

Attached Files

Published - Pye2010p12284Atmos_Chem_Phys.pdf

Supplemental Material - acp-10-11261-2010-supplement.pdf


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August 19, 2023
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