Sensitivity of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ozone to land surface processes and vegetation distributions in California
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Current climate models still have large uncertainties in estimating biogenic trace gases, which can significantly affect secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation and ultimately aerosol radiative forcing. These uncertainties result from many factors, including coupling strategy between biogenic emissions and land-surface schemes and specification of vegetation types, both of which can affect the simulated near-surface fluxes of biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In this study, sensitivity experiments are conducted using the Weather Research and Forecasting model with chemistry (WRF-Chem) to examine the sensitivity of simulated VOCs and ozone to land surface processes and vegetation distributions in California. The measurements collected during the California Nexus of Air Quality and Climate Experiment (CalNex) and the Carbonaceous Aerosol and Radiative Effects Study (CARES) conducted during May and June of 2010 provide a good opportunity to evaluate the simulations. First, the biogenic VOC emissions in the WRF-Chem simulations with the two land surface schemes, Noah and CLM4, are estimated by the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature version one (MEGANv1), which has been publicly released and widely used with WRF-Chem. The impacts of land surface processes on estimating biogenic VOC emissions and simulating VOCs and ozone are investigated. Second, in this study, a newer version of MEGAN (MEGANv2.1) is coupled with CLM4 as part of WRF-Chem to examine the sensitivity of biogenic VOC emissions to the MEGAN schemes used and determine the importance of using a consistent vegetation map between a land surface scheme and the biogenic VOC emission scheme. Specifically, MEGANv2.1 is embedded into the CLM4 scheme and shares a consistent vegetation map for estimating biogenic VOC emissions. This is unlike MEGANv1 in WRF-Chem that uses a standalone vegetation map that differs from what is used in land surface schemes. Furthermore, we examine the impact of vegetation distribution on simulating VOCs and ozone by comparing coupled WRF-Chem-CLM-MEGANv2.1 simulations using multiple vegetation maps.