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Published September 27, 2005 | Published
Journal Article Open

Global impacts of gas-phase chemistry-aerosol interactions on direct radiative forcing by anthropogenic aerosols and ozone


We present here a first global modeling study on the influence of gas-phase chemistry/aerosol interactions on estimates of anthropogenic forcing by tropospheric O₃ and aerosols. Concentrations of gas-phase species and sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, black carbon, primary organic carbon, secondary organic carbon, sea salt, and mineral dust aerosols in the preindustrial, present-day, and year 2100 (IPCC SRES A2) atmospheres are simulated online in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies general circulation model II' (GISS GCM II'). With fully coupled chemistry and aerosols, the preindustrial, present-day, and year 2100 global burdens of tropospheric ozone are predicted to be 190, 319, and 519 Tg, respectively. The burdens of sulfate, nitrate, black carbon, and organic carbon are predicted respectively to be 0.32. 0.18, 0.01, 0.33 Tg in preindustrial time, 1.40, 0.48, 0.23, 1.60 Tg in present-day, and 1.37, 1.97, 0.54, 3.31 Tg in year 2100. Anthropogenic O₃ is predicted to have a globally and annually averaged present-day forcing of +0.22 W m⁻² and year 2100 forcing of +0.57 W m⁻² at the top of the atmosphere (TOA). Net anthropogenic TOA forcing by internally mixed sulfate, nitrate, organic carbon, and black carbon aerosols is estimated to be virtually zero in the present-day and +0.34 W m⁻² in year 2100, whereas it is predicted to be −0.39 W m⁻² in present-day and −0.61 W m⁻² in year 2100 if the aerosols are externally mixed. Heterogeneous reactions are shown to be important in affecting anthropogenic forcing. When reactions of N₂O₅, NO₃, NO₂, and HO₂ on aerosols are accounted for, TOA anthropogenic O₃ forcing is less by 20–45% in present-day and by 20–32% in year 2100 at mid to high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, as compared with values predicted in the absence of heterogeneous gas-aerosol reactions. Mineral dust uptake of HNO₃ and O₃ is shown to have practically no influence on anthropogenic O₃ forcing. Heterogeneous reactions of N₂O₅, NO₃, NO₂, and HO₂ are predicted to have noticeable impacts on anthropogenic aerosol forcing over industrialized areas, leading to 0–2 W m⁻² more anthropogenic aerosol cooling in present-day and 2–8 W m⁻² more cooling in year 2100 in these areas as compared with forcings calculated in the absence of heterogeneous reactions. Sea salt uptake of SO₂ reduces the magnitude of TOA aerosol cooling by 0.5–1 W m⁻² over the oceans around 60°N in the present-day and year 2100 scenarios. Near dust sources, mineral dust uptake of SO₂ and HNO₃ leads to less anthropogenic aerosol cooling by 0.5–1 W m⁻² in the present-day and 1–2 W m⁻² in year 2100.

Additional Information

This work was supported by the NASA Earth Observing System – Interdisciplinary Science Program (NASAEOS-IDS). We would also like to acknowledge the Center for Advanced Computing Research at Caltech for computing resources.

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