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The chemical and microphysical properties of secondary organic aerosols from Holm Oak emissions

by N. Lang-Yona, Y. Rudich, Th. F. Mentel, A. Buchholz, A. Kiendler-Scharr, E. Kleist, C. Spindler, R. Tillmann, J. Wildt show all authors
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions ()

Abstract

The Mediterranean region is expected to experience substantial climatic change in the next 50 years. But, possible effects of climate change on biogenic volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions as well as on the formation of secondary organic aerosols (SOA) produced from these VOC are yet unexplored. To address such issues, the effects of temperature on the VOC emissions of Mediterranean Holm Oak and small Mediterranean stand of Wild Pistacio, Aleppo Pine, and Palestine Oak have been studied in the Julich plant aerosol atmosphere chamber. For Holm ¨ Oak the optical and microphysical properties of the resulting SOA were investigated. Monoterpenes dominated the VOC emissions from Holm Oak (97.5%) and Mediterranean stand (97%). Higher temperatures enhanced the overall VOC emission but with different ratios of the emitted species. The amount of SOA increased linearly with the emission strength with a fractional mass yield of 6.0±0.6%, independent of the detailed emission pattern. The investigated particles were highly scattering with no absorption abilities. Their average hygroscopic growth factor of 1.13±0.03 at 90% RH with a critical diameter of droplet activation was 100±4 nm at a supersaturation of 0.4%. All microphysical properties did not depend on the detailed emission pattern, in accordance with an invariant O/C ratio (0.57(+0.03/−0.1)) of the SOA observed by high resolution aerosol mass spectrometry. The increase of Holm oak emissions with temperature (≈20% per degree) was stronger than e.g. for Boreal tree species (≈10% per degree). The SOA yield for Mediterranean trees determined here is similar as for Boreal trees. Increasing mean temperature in Mediterranean areas could thus have a stronger impact on BVOC emissions and SOA formation than in areas with Boreal forests.

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