Journal article

A comprehensive emission inventory of biogenic volatile organic compounds in Europe: Improved seasonality and land-cover

Oderbolz D, Aksoyoglu S, Keller J, Barmpadimos I, Steinbrecher R, Skjøth C, Plaß-Dülmer C, Prévôt A ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 13, issue 4 (2013) pp. 1689-1712 Published by Copernicus GmbH

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Abstract

Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC) emitted from vegetation are
important for the formation of secondary pollutants such as ozone and
secondary organic aerosols (SOA) in the atmosphere. Therefore, BVOC
emission are an important input for air quality models. To model these
emissions with high spatial resolution, the accuracy of the underlying
vegetation inventory is crucial. We present a BVOC emission model that
accommodates different vegetation inventories and uses satellite-based
measurements of greenness instead of pre-defined vegetation periods.
This approach to seasonality implicitly treats effects caused by water
or nutrient availability, altitude and latitude on a plant stand.
Additionally, we test the influence of proposed seasonal variability in
enzyme activity on BVOC emissions. In its present setup, the emission
model calculates hourly emissions of isoprene, monoterpenes,
sesquiterpenes and the oxygenated volatile organic compounds (OVOC)
methanol, formaldehyde, formic acid, ethanol, acetaldehyde, acetone and
acetic acid. In this study, emissions based on three different
vegetation inventories are compared with each other and diurnal and
seasonal variations in Europe are investigated for the year 2006. Two of
these vegetation inventories require information on tree-cover as an
input. We compare three different land-cover inventories (USGS GLCC,
GLC2000 and Globcover 2.2) with respect to tree-cover. The often-used
USGS GLCC land-cover inventory leads to a severe reduction of BVOC
emissions due to a potential miss-attribution of broad-leaved trees and
reduced tree-cover compared to the two other land-cover inventories. To
account for uncertainties in the land-cover classification, we introduce
land-cover correction factors for each relevant land-use category to
adjust the tree-cover. The results are very sensitive to these factors
within the plausible range. For June 2006, total monthly BVOC emissions
decreased up to -27% with minimal and increased up to +71% with
maximal factors, while in January 2006, the changes in monthly BVOC
emissions were -54 and +56% with minimal and maximal factors,
respectively. The new seasonality approach leads to a reduction in the
annual emissions compared with non-adjusted data. The strongest
reduction occurs in OVOC (up to -32%), the weakest in isoprene (as
little as -19%). If also enzyme seasonality is taken into account,
however, isoprene reacts with the steepest decrease of annual emissions,
which are reduced by -44% to -49%, annual emissions of monoterpenes
reduce between -30 and -35%. The sensitivity of the model to changes in
temperature depends on the climatic zone but not on the vegetation
inventory. The sensitivity is higher for temperature increases of 3K
(+31% to +64%) than decreases by the same amount (-20 to -35%). The
climatic zones ``Cold except summer{''} and ``arid{''} are most
sensitive to temperature changes in January for isoprene and
monoterpenes, respectively, while in June, ``polar{''} is most sensitive
to temperature for both isoprene and monoterpenes. Our model predicts
the oxygenated volatile organic compounds to be the most abundant
fraction of the annual European emissions (3571-5328 Gg yr(-1)),
followed by monoterpenes (2964-4124 Gg yr(-1)), isoprene (1450-2650 Gg
yr(-1)) and sesquiterpenes (150-257 Gg yr(-1)).
We find regions with high isoprene emissions (most notably the Iberian
Peninsula), but overall, oxygenated VOC dominate with 43-45% (depending
on the vegetation inventory) contribution to the total annual BVOC
emissions in Europe. Isoprene contributes between 18-21 %, monoterpenes
33-36% and sesquiterpenes contribute 1-2%. We compare the
concentrations of biogenic species simulated by an air quality model
with measurements of isoprene and monoterpenes in Hohenpeissenberg
(Germany) for both summer and winter. The agreement between observed and
modelled concentrations is better in summer than in winter. This can
partly be explained with the difficulty to model weather conditions in
winter accurately, but also with the increased anthropogenic influence
on the concentrations of BVOC compounds in winter. Our results suggest
that land-cover inventories used to derive tree-cover must be chosen
with care. Also, uncertainties in the classification of land-cover
pixels must be taken into account and remain high. This problem must be
addressed together with the remote sensing community. Our new approach
using a greenness index for addressing seasonality of vegetation can be
implemented easily in existing models. The importance of OVOC for air
quality should be more deeply addressed by future studies, especially in
smog chambers. Also, the fate of BVOC from the dominant region of the
Iberian Peninsula should be studied more in detail.

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Authors

  • D. C. Oderbolz

  • S. Aksoyoglu

  • J. Keller

  • I. Barmpadimos

  • R. Steinbrecher

  • C. A. Skjøth

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