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Aerosol size distribution and radiative forcing response to anthropogenically driven historical changes in biogenic secondary organic aerosol formation
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
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2015 (English)In: Atmospheric Chemistry And Physics, ISSN 1680-7316, E-ISSN 1680-7324, Vol. 15, 2247-2268 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) have changed in the past millennium due to changes in land use, temperature, and CO2 concentrations. Recent reconstructions of BVOC emissions have predicted that global isoprene emissions have decreased, while monoterpene and sesquiterpene emissions have increased; however, all three show regional variability due to competition between the various influencing factors. In this work, we use two modeled estimates of BVOC emissions from the years 1000 to 2000 to test the effect of anthropogenic changes to BVOC emissions on secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation, global aerosol size distributions, and radiative effects using the GEOS-Chem-TOMAS (Goddard Earth Observing System; TwO-Moment Aerosol Sectional) global aerosol microphysics model. With anthropogenic emissions (e.g., SO2, NOx, primary aerosols) turned off and BVOC emissions changed from year 1000 to year 2000 values, decreases in the number concentration of particles of size Dp > 80 nm (N80) of > 25% in year 2000 relative to year 1000 were predicted in regions with extensive land-use changes since year 1000 which led to regional increases in the combined aerosol radiative effect (direct and indirect) of > 0.5 W m−2 in these regions. We test the sensitivity of our results to BVOC emissions inventory, SOA yields, and the presence of anthropogenic emissions; however, the qualitative response of the model to historic BVOC changes remains the same in all cases. Accounting for these uncertainties, we estimate millennial changes in BVOC emissions cause a global mean direct effect of between +0.022 and +0.163 W m−2 and the global mean cloud-albedo aerosol indirect effect of between −0.008 and −0.056 W m−2. This change in aerosols, and the associated radiative forcing, could be a largely overlooked and important anthropogenic aerosol effect on regional climates.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 15, 2247-2268 p.
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123191DOI: 10.5194/acp-15-2247-2015ISI: 000350559700002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-123191DiVA: diva2:872160
Available from: 2015-11-18 Created: 2015-11-18 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Anthropogenic influence on climate through changes in aerosol emissions from air pollution and land use change
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anthropogenic influence on climate through changes in aerosol emissions from air pollution and land use change
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Particulate matter suspended in air (i.e. aerosol particles) exerts a substantial influence on the climate of our planet and is responsible for causing severe public health problems in many regions across the globe. Human activities have altered the natural and anthropogenic emissions of aerosol particles through direct emissions or indirectly by modifying natural sources. The climate effects of the latter have been largely overlooked. Humans have dramatically altered the land surface of the planet causing changes in natural aerosol emissions from vegetated areas. Regulation on anthropogenic and natural aerosol emissions have the potential to affect the climate on regional to global scales. Furthermore, the regional climate effects of aerosol particles could potentially be very different than the ones caused by other climate forcers (e.g. well mixed greenhouse gases). The main objective of this work was to investigate the climatic effects of land use and air pollution via aerosol changes.

Using numerical model simulations it was found that land use changes in the past millennium have likely caused a positive radiative forcing via aerosol climate interactions. The forcing is an order of magnitude smaller and has an opposite sign than the radiative forcing caused by direct aerosol emissions changes from other human activities. The results also indicate that future reductions of fossil fuel aerosols via air quality regulations may lead to an additional warming of the planet by mid-21st century and could also cause an important Arctic amplification of the warming. In addition, the mean position of the intertropical convergence zone and the Asian monsoon appear to be sensitive to aerosol emission reductions from air quality regulations. For these reasons, climate mitigation policies should take into consideration aerosol air pollution, which has not received sufficient attention in the past.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, 2017
Keyword
Climate change, Air quality, Land use, General circulation, Atmosphere-Ocean interactions, Aerosol climate effects, Earth system modelling
National Category
Climate Research Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences Environmental Sciences Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-137077 (URN)978-91-7649-650-3 (ISBN)978-91-7649-651-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-02-17, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
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Available from: 2017-01-25 Created: 2016-12-22 Last updated: 2017-01-24Bibliographically approved

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