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  1. Abstract. Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is a dominant contributor of fine particulate matter in the atmosphere, but the complexity of SOA formation chemistry hinders the accurate representation of SOA in models. Volatility-based SOA parameterizations have been adopted in many recent chemistry modeling studies and have shown a reasonable performance compared to observations. However, assumptions made in these empirical parameterizations can lead to substantial errors when applied to future climatic conditions as they do not include the mechanistic understanding of processes but are rather fitted to laboratory studies of SOA formation. This is particularly the case for SOA derived from isoprene epoxydiols (IEPOX SOA), for which we have a higher level of understanding of the fundamental processes than is currently parameterized in most models. We predict future SOA concentrations using an explicit mechanism and compare the predictions with the empirical parameterization based on the volatility basis set (VBS) approach. We then use the Community Earth System Model 2 (CESM2.1.0) with detailed isoprene chemistry and reactive uptake processes for the middle and end of the 21st century under four Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs): SSP1–2.6, SSP2–4.5, SSP3–7.0, and SSP5–8.5. With the explicit chemical mechanism, we find that IEPOX SOA is predicted to increasemore »on average under all future SSP scenarios but with some variability in the results depending on regions and the scenario chosen. Isoprene emissions are the main driver of IEPOX SOA changes in the future climate, but the IEPOX SOA yield from isoprene emissions also changes by up to 50 % depending on the SSP scenario, in particular due to different sulfur emissions. We conduct sensitivity simulations with and without CO2 inhibition of isoprene emissions that is highly uncertain, which results in factor of 2 differences in the predicted IEPOX SOA global burden, especially for the high-CO2 scenarios (SSP3–7.0 and SSP5–8.5). Aerosol pH also plays a critical role in the IEPOX SOA formation rate, requiring accurate calculation of aerosol pH in chemistry models. On the other hand, isoprene SOA calculated with the VBS scheme predicts a nearly constant SOA yield from isoprene emissions across all SSP scenarios; as a result, it mostly follows isoprene emissions regardless of region and scenario. This is because the VBS scheme does not consider heterogeneous chemistry; in other words, there is no dependency on aerosol properties. The discrepancy between the explicit mechanism and VBS parameterization in this study is likely to occur for other SOA components as well, which may also have dependencies that cannot be captured by VBS parameterizations. This study highlights the need for more explicit chemistry or for parameterizations that capture the dependence on key physicochemical drivers when predicting SOA concentrations for climate studies.« less
  2. Abstract. We present in this technical note the research protocol for phase 4 of theAir Quality Model Evaluation International Initiative (AQMEII4). Thisresearch initiative is divided into two activities, collectively having threegoals: (i) to define the current state of the science with respect torepresentations of wet and especially dry deposition in regional models,(ii) to quantify the extent to which different dry depositionparameterizations influence retrospective air pollutant concentration andflux predictions, and (iii) to identify, through the use of a common set ofdetailed diagnostics, sensitivity simulations, model evaluation, andreduction of input uncertainty, the specific causes for the current range ofthese predictions. Activity 1 is dedicated to the diagnostic evaluation ofwet and dry deposition processes in regional air quality models (describedin this paper), and Activity 2 to the evaluation of dry deposition pointmodels against ozone flux measurements at multiple towers with multiyearobservations (to be described in future submissions as part of the specialissue on AQMEII4). The scope of this paper is to present the scientificprotocols for Activity 1, as well as to summarize the technical informationassociated with the different dry deposition approaches used by theparticipating research groups of AQMEII4. In addition to describing allcommon aspects and data used for this multi-model evaluation activity, mostimportantly, wemore »present the strategy devised to allow a common process-levelcomparison of dry deposition obtained from models using sometimes verydifferent dry deposition schemes. The strategy is based on adding detaileddiagnostics to the algorithms used in the dry deposition modules of existingregional air quality models, in particular archiving diagnostics specific to land use–land cover(LULC) and creating standardized LULC categories tofacilitate cross-comparison of LULC-specific dry deposition parameters andprocesses, as well as archiving effective conductance and effective flux asmeans for comparing the relative influence of different pathways towards thenet or total dry deposition. This new approach, along with an analysis ofprecipitation and wet deposition fields, will provide an unprecedentedprocess-oriented comparison of deposition in regional air quality models.Examples of how specific dry deposition schemes used in participating modelshave been reduced to the common set of comparable diagnostics defined forAQMEII4 are also presented.« less
  3. Abstract

    This study examines the benefit of using a dynamical ensemble for 48 hr deterministic and probabilistic predictions of near‐surface fine particulate matter (PM2.5) over the contiguous United States (CONUS). Our ensemble design captures three key sources of uncertainties in PM2.5modeling including meteorology, emissions, and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation. Twenty‐four ensemble members were simulated using the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model during January, April, July, and October 2016. The raw ensemble mean performed better than most of the ensemble members but underestimated the observed PM2.5over the CONUS with the largest underestimation over the western CONUS owing to negative PM2.5bias in nearly all the members. To improve the ensemble performance, we calibrated the raw ensemble using model output statistics (MOS) and variance deficit methods. The calibrated ensemble captured the diurnal and day‐to‐day variability in observed PM2.5very well and exhibited almost zero mean bias. The mean bias in the calibrated ensemble was reduced by 90–100% in the western CONUS and by 40–100% in other parts of the CONUS, compared to the raw ensemble in all months. The corresponding reduction in root‐mean‐square error (RMSE) was 13–40%. The calibrated ensemble also showed 30% improvement in the RMSE and spread matching compared to themore »raw ensemble. We have also shown that a nine‐member ensemble based on combinations of three meteorological and three anthropogenic emission scenarios can be used as a smaller subset of the full ensemble when sufficient computational resources are not available in the operational setting.

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  4. Abstract. The GoAmazon 2014/5 field campaign took place in Manaus, Brazil, and allowed the investigation of the interaction between background-level biogenic air masses and anthropogenic plumes.We present in this work a box model built to simulate the impact of urban chemistry on biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation and composition.An organic chemistry mechanism is generated with the Generator for Explicit Chemistry and Kinetics of Organics in the Atmosphere (GECKO-A) to simulate the explicit oxidation of biogenic and anthropogenic compounds.A parameterization is also included to account for the reactive uptake of isoprene oxidation products on aqueous particles.The biogenic emissions estimated from existing emission inventories had to be reduced to match measurements.The model is able to reproduce ozone and NOx for clean and polluted situations.The explicit model is able to reproduce background case SOA mass concentrations but does not capture the enhancement observed in the urban plume.The oxidation of biogenic compounds is the major contributor to SOA mass.A volatility basis set (VBS) parameterization applied to the same cases obtains better results than GECKO-A for predicting SOA mass in the box model.The explicit mechanism may be missing SOA-formation processes related to the oxidation of monoterpenes that could be implicitly accounted for in themore »VBS parameterization.« less
  5. Abstract. Secondary organic aerosol derived from isopreneepoxydiols (IEPOX-SOA) is thought to contribute the dominant fraction oftotal isoprene SOA, but the current volatility-based lumped SOAparameterizations are not appropriate to represent the reactive uptake ofIEPOX onto acidified aerosols. A full explicit modeling of this chemistryis however computationally expensive owing to the many species and reactionstracked, which makes it difficult to include it in chemistry–climate modelsfor long-term studies. Here we present three simplified parameterizations(version 1.0) for IEPOX-SOA simulation, based on an approximateanalytical/fitting solution of the IEPOX-SOA yield and formation timescale.The yield and timescale can then be directly calculated using the globalmodel fields of oxidants, NO, aerosol pH and other key properties, and drydeposition rates. The advantage of the proposed parameterizations is thatthey do not require the simulation of the intermediates while retaining thekey physicochemical dependencies. We have implemented the newparameterizations into the GEOS-Chem v11-02-rc chemical transport model,which has two empirical treatments for isoprene SOA (the volatility-basis-set, VBS, approach and a fixed 3 % yield parameterization), and comparedall of them to the case with detailed fully explicit chemistry. The bestparameterization (PAR3) captures the global tropospheric burden of IEPOX-SOAand its spatiotemporal distribution (R2=0.94) vs. thosesimulated by the full chemistry, while being more computationally efficient(∼5 times faster),more »and accurately captures the response tochanges in NOx and SO2 emissions. On the other hand, the constant3 % yield that is now the default in GEOS-Chem deviates strongly (R2=0.66), as does the VBS (R2=0.47, 49 % underestimation), withneither parameterization capturing the response to emission changes. Withthe advent of new mass spectrometry instrumentation, many detailed SOAmechanisms are being developed, which will challenge global and especiallyclimate models with their computational cost. The methods developed in thisstudy can be applied to other SOA pathways, which can allow includingaccurate SOA simulations in climate and global modeling studies in thefuture.

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  6. ABSTRACT To explore the various couplings across space and time and between ecosystems in a consistent manner, atmospheric modeling is moving away from the fractured limited-scale modeling strategy of the past toward a unification of the range of scales inherent in the Earth system. This paper describes the forward-looking Multi-Scale Infrastructure for Chemistry and Aerosols (MUSICA), which is intended to become the next-generation community infrastructure for research involving atmospheric chemistry and aerosols. MUSICA will be developed collaboratively by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and university and government researchers, with the goal of serving the international research and applications communities. The capability of unifying various spatiotemporal scales, coupling to other Earth system components, and process-level modularization will allow advances in both fundamental and applied research in atmospheric composition, air quality, and climate and is also envisioned to become a platform that addresses the needs of policy makers and stakeholders.
  7. Abstract. Anthropogenic secondary organic aerosol (ASOA), formed from anthropogenicemissions of organic compounds, constitutes a substantial fraction of themass of submicron aerosol in populated areas around the world andcontributes to poor air quality and premature mortality. However, theprecursor sources of ASOA are poorly understood, and there are largeuncertainties in the health benefits that might accrue from reducinganthropogenic organic emissions. We show that the production of ASOA in 11urban areas on three continents is strongly correlated with the reactivityof specific anthropogenic volatile organic compounds. The differences inASOA production across different cities can be explained by differences inthe emissions of aromatics and intermediate- and semi-volatile organiccompounds, indicating the importance of controlling these ASOA precursors.With an improved model representation of ASOA driven by the observations,we attribute 340 000 PM2.5-related premature deaths per year to ASOA, which isover an order of magnitude higher than prior studies. A sensitivity casewith a more recently proposed model for attributing mortality to PM2.5(the Global Exposure Mortality Model) results in up to 900 000 deaths. Alimitation of this study is the extrapolation from cities with detailedstudies and regions where detailed emission inventories are available toother regions where uncertainties in emissions are larger. In addition tofurther development of institutional air quality management infrastructure,comprehensive airmore »quality campaigns in the countries in South and CentralAmerica, Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East are needed for furtherprogress in this area.« less
  8. Abstract. Oxidation of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC) by the nitrate radical (NO3) represents one of the important interactions between anthropogenic emissions related to combustion and natural emissions from the biosphere. This interaction has been recognized for more than 3 decades, during which time a large body of research has emerged from laboratory, field, and modeling studies. NO3-BVOC reactions influence air quality, climate and visibility through regional and global budgets for reactive nitrogen (particularly organic nitrates), ozone, and organic aerosol. Despite its long history of research and the significance of this topic in atmospheric chemistry, a number of important uncertainties remain. These include an incomplete understanding of the rates, mechanisms, and organic aerosol yields for NO3-BVOC reactions, lack of constraints on the role of heterogeneous oxidative processes associated with the NO3 radical, the difficulty of characterizing the spatial distributions of BVOC and NO3 within the poorly mixed nocturnal atmosphere, and the challenge of constructing appropriate boundary layer schemes and non-photochemical mechanisms for use in state-of-the-art chemical transport and chemistry–climate models.

    This review is the result of a workshop of the same title held at the Georgia Institute of Technology in June 2015. The first half of the review summarizes the currentmore »literature on NO3-BVOC chemistry, with a particular focus on recent advances in instrumentation and models, and in organic nitrate and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation chemistry. Building on this current understanding, the second half of the review outlines impacts of NO3-BVOC chemistry on air quality and climate, and suggests critical research needs to better constrain this interaction to improve the predictive capabilities of atmospheric models.

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