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Abstract: Measurements of HONO(g) and particulate nitrite (NO2-(p)) were made with a modified Ambient Ion Monitor – Ion Chromatography (AIM-IC) instrument during CalNex 2010 in Bakersfield, CA (CalNex-SJV). Observations of gas and PM2.5 water soluble composition showed accumulation of both species at night, followed by loss the next day. Intercomparison with a Stripping Coil-UV/Vis Absorption Photometer (SC-AP) demonstrated excellent agreement with the AIM-IC HONO(g) measurement (slope = 0.957, R2 = 0.86) and the particulate nitrite observations were validated to be free of known interferences for wet chemical instrumentation. The accumulation of nitrite into particulate matter was found to be enhanced when gaseous mixing ratios of HONO(g) were highest. Reactive uptake of HONO(g) on to lofted dust and the ground surface, forming a reservoir, is a potential mechanism to explain these observations.
The AIM-IC HONO(g) measurements were parameterized in a chemical model to calculate the ground surface daytime HONO(g) source strength at 4.5 m above the surface, found to be on the order of 1.27 ppb hr-1, to determine the relative importance of a surface reservoir. If all deposited nighttime HONO(g) is reemitted the following day, up to 30 % of the daytime HONO(g) source at CalNex-SJV may be accounted for. The observations of HONO(g) and NO2-(p) in Bakersfield, during CalNex, suggest a surface sink and source of HONO(g). Extension of currently accepted unknown daytime HONO(g) source reactions to include a potential surface HONO(g) reservoir should therefore be sound, but quantitation of the relative contributions of each surface source toward daytime HONO(g) production remains to be resolved.
Abstract: Exchange of NOx (NO+NO2) between the atmosphere and biosphere is important for air quality, climate change, and ecosystem nutrient dynamics. There are few direct ecosystem-scale measurements of the direction and rate of atmosphere–biosphere exchange of NOx. As a result, a complete description of the processes affecting NOx following emission from soils and/or plants as they transit from within the plant/forest canopy to the free atmosphere remains poorly constrained and debated. Here, we describe measurements of NO and NO2 fluxes and vertical concentration gradients made during the Biosphere Effects on AeRosols and Photochemistry EXperiment 2009. In general, during daytime we observe upward fluxes of NO and NO2 with counter-gradient fluxes of NO. We find that NOx fluxes from the forest canopy are smaller than calculated using observed flux–gradient relationships for conserved tracers and also smaller than measured soil NO emissions. We interpret these differences as primarily due to chemistry converting NOx to higher nitrogen oxides within the forest canopy, which might be part of a mechanistic explanation for the "canopy reduction factor" applied to soil NOx emissions in large-scale models.
Abstract: Alkenes generally react rapidly by addition of OH and subsequently O2 to form beta hydroxy peroxy radicals. These peroxy radicals react with NO to form beta hydroxy nitrates with a branching ratio α. We quantify α for C2–C8 alkenes at 296 K ±3 and 993 hPa.
The branching ratio can be expressed as α = (0.042 ± 0.008) × N − (0.11 ± 0.04) where N is the number of heavy atoms (excluding the peroxy moiety), and listed errors are 2σ. These branching ratios are larger than previously reported and are similar to those for peroxy radicals
formed from H abstraction from alkanes. We find the isomer distributions of beta hydroxy nitrates formed under NO-dominated peroxy radical chemistry to be similar to the isomer distribution of hydroxy hydroperoxides produced under HO2-dominated peroxy radical chemistry. With the assumption of unity yield for the hydroperoxides, this implies that the branching ratio to form beta hydroxy nitrates from primary, secondary, and tertiary RO2 are similar.
Deuterium substitution enhances the branching ratio to form hydroxy nitrates in both propene and isoprene by a factor of ~1.5. These observations provide further evidence for importance of the ROONO lifetime in determining the branching ratio to form alkyl nitrates.
We use these measurements to re-evaluate the role of alkene chemistry in the Houston region. We find that small alkenes play a larger role in oxidant
formation than previously recognized.
Abstract: The San Joaquin Valley (SJV) experiences some of the worst ozone air quality in the US, frequently exceeding the California 8 h standard of 70.4 ppb. To improve our understanding of trends in the number of ozone violations in the SJV, we analyze observed relationships between organic reactivity, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and daily maximum temperature in the southern SJV using measurements made as part of California at the Nexus of Air Quality and Climate Change in 2010 (CalNex-SJV). We find the daytime speciated organic reactivity with respect to OH during CalNex-SJV has a temperature-independent portion with molecules typically associated with motor vehicles being the major component. At high temperatures, characteristic of days with high ozone, the largest portion of the total organic reactivity increases exponentially with temperature and is dominated by small, oxygenated organics and molecules that are unidentified. We use this simple temperature classification to consider changes in organic emissions over the last and next decade. With the CalNex-SJV observations as constraints, we examine the sensitivity of ozone production (PO3) to future NOx and organic reactivity controls. We find that PO3 is NOx-limited at all temperatures on weekends and on weekdays when daily maximum temperatures are greater than 29 °C. As a consequence, NOx reductions are the most effective control option for reducing the frequency of future ozone violations in the southern SJV.
Abstract: Eight distinct hydroxy nitrates are stable products of the first step in the atmospheric oxidation of isoprene by OH. The subsequent chemical fate of these molecules affects global and regional production of ozone and aerosol as well as the location of nitrogen deposition. We synthesized and purified 3 of the 8 isoprene hydroxy nitrate isomers: (E/Z)-2-methyl-4-nitrooxybut-2-ene-1-ol and 3-methyl-2-nitrooxybut-3-ene-1-ol. Oxidation of these molecules by OH and ozone was studied using both chemical ionization mass spectrometry and thermo-dissociation laser induced fluorescence. The OH reaction rate constants at 300 K measured relative to propene at 745 Torr are (1.1 ± 0.2) × 10–10 cm3 molecule–1 s–1 for both the E and Z isomers and (4.2 ± 0.7) × 10–11 cm3 molecule–1 s–1 for the third isomer. The ozone reaction rate constants for (E/Z)-2-methyl-4-nitrooxybut-2-ene-1-ol are (2.7 ± 0.5) × 10–17 and (2.9 ± 0.5) × 10–17 cm3 molecule–1 s–1, respectively. 3-Methyl-2-nitrooxybut-3-ene-1-ol reacts with ozone very slowly, within the range of (2.5–5) × 10–19 cm3 molecule–1 s–1. Reaction pathways, product yields, and implications for atmospheric chemistry are discussed. A condensed mechanism suitable for use in atmospheric chemistry models is presented.
Abstract: The formation of organic nitrates (RONO2) represents an important NOx (NOx = NO + NO2) sink in the remote and rural continental atmosphere, thus impacting ozone production and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation. In these remote and rural environments, the organic nitrates are primarily derived from biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) such as isoprene and monoterpenes. Although there are numerous studies investigating the formation of SOA from monoterpenes, there
are few studies investigating monoterpene gas-phase chemistry. Using a regional chemical transport model with an extended representation of organic nitrate chemistry, we investigate the processes controlling the production and fate of monoterpene nitrates (MTNs) over the boreal forest of Canada. MTNs account for 5–12% of total oxidized nitrogen over the boreal forest, and production via NO3 chemistry is more important than production via OH when the NOx mixing ratio is greater than 75 pptv. The regional responses are investigated for two oxidation pathways of MTNs: one that returns NOx to the atmosphere and one that converts MTNs into a nitrate that behaves like HNO3. The likely situation is in between, and these two assumptions bracket the uncertainty about this chemistry. In the case where the MTNs return NOx after oxidation, their formation represents a net chemical NOx loss that exceeds the net loss to peroxy nitrate formation. When oxidation of MTNs produces a molecule that behaves like HNO3, HNO3 and MTNs are nearly equal chemical sinks for NOx. This uncertainty in the oxidative fate of MTNs results in changes in NOx of 8–14%, in O3 of up to 3%, and in OH of 3–6% between the two model simulations.
Abstract: We examine spatial variations in the weekday–weekend pattern of NO2 over the Los Angeles metropolitan area using the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and then compare the observations to calculations using the WRF-Chem model. We find that the spatial pattern of the weekday–weekend variations of the NO2 column in the model is significantly different than observed. A sensitivity study shows that the contrasting spatial pattern of NO2 on weekdays and weekends is a useful diagnostic of emissions and chemistry. These improvements suggest that constraints from space-based observations of the processes affecting urban photochemistry (e.g., spatial patterns of emissions, ratios of VOC to NOx emissions, rate constants) are possible at a level of detail not previously described.
Abstract: We implement a new isoprene oxidation mechanism in a global 3-D chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem). Model results are evaluated with observations for ozone, isoprene oxidation products, and related species from the International Consortium for Atmospheric Research on Transport and Transformation aircraft campaign over the eastern United States in summer 2004. The model achieves an unbiased simulation of ozone in the boundary layer and the free troposphere, reflecting canceling effects from recent model updates for isoprene chemistry, bromine chemistry, and HO2 loss to aerosols. Simulation of the ozone-CO correlation is improved relative to previous versions of the model, and this is attributed to a lower and reversible yield of isoprene nitrates, increasing the ozone production efficiency per unit of nitrogen oxides (NOx ≡ NO + NO2). The model successfully reproduces the observed concentrations of organic nitrates (∑ANs) and their correlations with HCHO and ozone. ∑ANs in the model is principally composed of secondary isoprene nitrates, including a major contribution from nighttime isoprene oxidation. The correlations of ∑ANs with HCHO and ozone then provide sensitive tests of isoprene chemistry and argue in particular against a fast isomerization channel for isoprene peroxy radicals. ∑ANs can provide an important reservoir for exporting NOx from the U.S. boundary layer. We find that the dependence of surface ozone on isoprene emission is positive throughout the U.S., even if NOx emissions are reduced by a factor of 4. Previous models showed negative dependences that we attribute to erroneous titration of OH by isoprene.
Abstract: Atmospheric photooxidation of isoprene is an important source of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and there is increasing evidence that anthropogenic oxidant emissions can enhance this SOA formation. In this work, we use ambient observations of organosulfates formed from isoprene epoxydiols (IEPOX) and methacrylic acid epoxide (MAE) and a broad suite of chemical measurements to investigate the relative importance of nitrogen oxide (NO/NO2) and hydroperoxyl (HO2) SOA formation pathways from isoprene at a forested site in California. In contrast to IEPOX, the calculated production rate of MAE was observed to be independent of temperature. This is the result of the very fast thermolysis of MPAN at high temperatures that affects the distribution of the MPAN reservoir (MPAN / MPA radical) reducing the fraction that can react with OH to form MAE and subsequently SOA (FMAE formation). The strong temperature dependence of FMAE formation helps to explain our observations of similar concentrations of IEPOX-derived organosulfates (IEPOX-OS; ~1 ng m–3) and MAE-derived organosulfates (MAE-OS; ~1 ng m–3) under cooler conditions (lower isoprene concentrations) and much higher IEPOX-OS (~20 ng m–3) relative to MAE-OS (<0.0005 ng m–3) at higher temperatures (higher isoprene concentrations). A kinetic model of IEPOX and MAE loss showed that MAE forms 10−100 times more ring-opening products than IEPOX and that both are strongly dependent on aerosol water content when aerosol pH is constant. However, the higher fraction of MAE ring opening products does not compensate for the lower MAE production under warmer conditions (higher isoprene concentrations) resulting in lower formation of MAE-derived products relative to IEPOX at the surface. In regions of high NOx, high isoprene emissions and strong vertical mixing the slower MPAN thermolysis rate aloft could increase the fraction of MPAN that forms MAE resulting in a vertically varying isoprene SOA source.
Abstract: Real time, atmospheric NO2 column profiles over the Mid-Atlantic states, during the July 2011 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations to Air Quality (DISCOVER AQ) flight campaign, demonstrated that a cavity ring down spectrometer with a light emitting diode light source (LED-CRD) is a suitable technique for detecting NO2 in the boundary layer (BL) and lower free troposphere (LFT). Results from a side-by-side flight between a NASA P3 aircraft and a University of Maryland (UMD) Cessna 402B aircraft show that NO2 concentrations in ambient air from 0.08 nmol/mol (or ppbv) to 1.3 nmol/mol were consistent with NO2 measurements obtained via laser induced fluorescence (LIF) and photolysis followed by NO chemiluminescence (P-CL). The current LED-CRD, commercially available by Los Gatos Research (LGR), includes the modifications added by Castellanos et al. (Rev. Sci. Instrum. 80:113107, 2009) to compensate for baseline drift and humidity through built in zeroing and drying. Because of laser instability in the initial instrument, the laser light source in the Castellanos et al. (Rev. Sci. Instrum. 80:113107, 2009) instrument has been replaced with a light emitting diode. Six independent calibrations demonstrated the instrument’s linearity up through 150 nmol/mol NO2 and excellent stability in calibration coefficient of 1.26 (± 3.7 %). The instrument detection limit is 80 pmol/mol. Aircraft measurements over the Mid-Atlantic are included showing horizontal and vertical distributions of NO2 during air quality episodes. During 23 research flights, NO2 profiles were measured west and generally upwind of the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area in the morning and east (generally downwind) of the metropolitan region in the afternoon. Column contents (surface to 2,500 m altitude) were remarkably similar (≈3 x 1015 molecules/cm2) indicating that NO2 is widely distributed over the eastern US contributing to the regional (spatial scales of approximately1000 km) nature of smog events.
Abstract: Biomass burning represents both a significant and highly variable source of NOx to the atmosphere. This variability stems from both the episodic nature of fires, and from fire conditions such as the modified combustion efficiency of the fire, the nitrogen content of the fuel and possibly other factors that have not been identified or evaluated by comparison with observations. Satellite instruments offer an opportunity to observe emissions from wildfires, providing a large suite of measurements which allow us to study mean behavior and variability on the regional scale in a statistically rigorous manner. Here we use space-based measurements of fire radiative power from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer in combination with NO2 tropospheric column densities from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument to measure mean emission coefficients (ECs in g NO MJ−1) from fires for global biomes, and across a wide range of smaller-scale ecoregions, defined as spatially-distinct clusters of fires with similar fuel type. Mean ECs for all biomes fall between 0.250–0.362 g NO MJ−1, a range that is smaller than found in previous studies of biome-scale emission factors. The majority of ecoregion ECs fall within or near this range, implying that under most conditions, mean fire emissions per unit energy are similar between different regions regardless of fuel type or spatial variability. In contrast to these similarities, we find that about 24% of individual ecoregion ECs deviate significantly (p < 0.05) from the mean EC for the associated biome, and a similar number of ecoregion ECs falls outside this range, implying that there are some regions where fuel type-specific global emission parameterizations fail to capture local fire NOx emissions.
Abstract: The formation of like-charge guanidinium-guanidinium contact ion pairs in water is evidenced and characterized by X-ray absorption spectroscopy and first-principles spectral simulations based on molecular dynamics sampling. Observed concentration-induced nitrogen K-edge resonance shifts result from Π* state mixing and the release of water molecules from each first solvation sphere as two solvated guanidinium ions associate into a stacked pair configuration. Possible biological implications of this counterintuitive cation-cation pairing are discussed.
Abstract: Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from wildfires account for ~15% of the global total, inducing large fluctuations in the chemical production and loss rates of O3 and CH4 and thereby affecting Earth's radiative balance. NOx emissions from fires depend on fuel nitrogen (N) content, the relative contributions of flaming and smoldering combustion, and total biomass burned. Current understanding of the variability in these factors across biomes is limited by sparse observations. Here we use satellite-based measurements to study emission coefficients (ECs), a value proportional to NOx emitted per unit of biomass burned, from fires in African savannas. We show that ECs for NOx exhibit a pronounced seasonal cycle in woody savannas, with early-season ECs 20–40% above and late-season ECs 30–40% below the mean, while no cycle exists in nonwoody savannas. We discuss several possible mechanisms of the observed cycle including seasonal differences in fuel N content and modified combustion efficiency.
Abstract: The evolution of atmospheric composition downwind of a city depends strongly on the concentration of OH within the plume. We use space-based observations of NO2, a molecule that affects both the sources and sinks of OH, to examine the functional dependence of OH concentration on the speed of the wind over Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. These observations illustrate the nonlinear dependence of the OH concentration on NO2 and on the rate of atmospheric mixing. We derive a range of NOx lifetimes of 5.5–8.0 h, lifetimes that correspond to an effective plume-averaged OH concentration of 7.6 × 106 molecules cm–3 at fast (26 km h–1) and 5.2 × 106 molecules cm–3 at slow (4 km h–1) wind speeds.
Abstract: At the Rocky Mountain Biogenic Aerosol Study (BEACHON-RoMBAS) field campaign in the Colorado front range, July–August 2011, measurements of gas- and aerosol-phase organic nitrates enabled a study of the role of NOx (NOx = NO + NO2) in oxidation of forest-emitted VOCs and subsequent aerosol formation. Substantial formation of peroxy- and alkyl-nitrates is observed every morning, with an apparent 2.9% yield of alkyl nitrates from daytime RO2 + NO reactions. Aerosol-phase organic nitrates, however, peak in concentration during the night, with concentrations up to 140 ppt as measured by both optical spectroscopic and mass spectrometric instruments. The diurnal cycle in aerosol fraction of organic nitrates shows an equilibrium-like response to the diurnal temperature cycle, suggesting some reversible absorptive partitioning, but the full dynamic range cannot be reproduced by thermodynamic repartitioning alone. Nighttime aerosol organic nitrate is observed to be positively correlated with [NO2] × [O3] but not with [O3]. These observations support the role of nighttime NO3-initiated oxidation of monoterpenes as a significant source of nighttime aerosol. Nighttime production of organic nitrates exceeds daytime photochemical production at this site, which we postulate to be representative of the Colorado front range forests.
Abstract: The California Research at the Nexus of Air Quality and Climate Change (CalNex) field study was conducted throughout California in May, June, and July of 2010. The study was organized to address issues simultaneously relevant to atmospheric pollution and climate change, including (1) emission inventory assessment, (2) atmospheric transport and dispersion, (3) atmospheric chemical processing, and (4) cloud-aerosol interactions and aerosol radiative effects. Measurements from networks of ground sites, a research ship, tall towers, balloon-borne ozonesondes, multiple aircraft, and satellites provided in situ and remotely sensed data on trace pollutant and greenhouse gas concentrations, aerosol chemical composition and microphysical properties, cloud microphysics, and meteorological parameters. This overview report provides operational information for the variety of sites, platforms, and measurements, their joint deployment strategy, and summarizes findings that have resulted from the collaborative analyses of the CalNex field study. Climate-relevant findings from CalNex include that leakage from natural gas infrastructure may account for the excess of observed methane over emission estimates in Los Angeles. Air-quality relevant findings include the following: mobile fleet VOC significantly declines, and NOx emissions continue to have an impact on ozone in the Los Angeles basin; the relative contributions of diesel and gasoline emission to secondary organic aerosol are not fully understood; and nighttime NO3 chemistry contributes significantly to secondary organic aerosol mass in the San Joaquin Valley. Findings simultaneously relevant to climate and air quality include the following: marine vessel emissions changes due to fuel sulfur and speed controls result in a net warming effect but have substantial positive impacts on local air quality.
Abstract: Limitations in the chemical characterization of tropospheric organic aerosol (OA) continue to impede attempts to fully understand its chemical sources and sinks. To assess the role of organic nitrates in OA, we used a new thermal dissociation – laser induced fluorescence based (TD-LIF) technique to obtain a high time resolution record of total aerosol organic nitrates (hereafter ΣANsaer) at the Bakersfield, CA supersite during the 2010 CalNex campaign. The TD-LIF measurements compare well with FT-IR measurements from collocated filter samples. These measurements show that ΣANs are a ubiquitous component of the OA with the —ONO2 subunit comprising on average 4.8% of the OA mass. Scaling this fraction by an estimate of the organic backbone mass yields an estimate that 17 - 23% of OA molecules contain nitrate functional groups. Measurements of both total ΣAN (gas + aerosol) and ΣANaer show that on average 21% of ΣANs are in the condensed phase, suggesting atmospheric organic nitrates have similar volatilities to analogous non-nitrate oxidized organic compounds. The fraction of ΣAN that is in the condensed phase increases with total OA concentration, providing direct evidence from the atmosphere that absorptive partitioning into OA has some control over the ΣAN phase partitioning. The specific molecular identity of the ΣAN is incompletely understood. Both biogenic hydrocarbons and long chain alkanes are calculated to be significant sources of low volatility nitrates in Bakersfield, and UPLC/ESI-Q-TOFMS measurements confirm the existence of particulate nitrooxy organosulfates derived from gas phase oxidation of both isoprene and monoterpenes.
Abstract: The presence of organic surfactants in atmospheric aerosol may lead to a depression of cloud droplet growth and evaporation rates affecting the radiative properties and lifetime of clouds. Both the magnitude and mechanism of this effect, however, remain poorly constrained. We have used Raman thermometry measurements of freely evaporating micro-droplets to determine evaporation coefficients for several concentrations of acetic acid, which is ubiquitous in atmospheric aerosol and has been shown to adsorb strongly to the air–water interface. We find no suppression of the evaporation kinetics over the concentration range studied (1–5 M). The evaporation coefficient determined for 2 M acetic acid is 0.53 ± 0.12, indistinguishable from that of pure water (0.62 ± 0.09).
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Abstract: The partitioning of reactive nitrogen (NOy was measured over the remote North Pacific during spring 2006. Aircraft observations of NO, NO2, total peroxy nitrates (ΣPNs), total alkyl and multi-functional nitrates (ΣANs) and nitric acid (HNO3, made between 25° and 55° N, confirm a controlling role for peroxyacyl nitrates in NOx production in aged Asian outflow. ΣPNs account for more than 60% of NOy above 5 km, while thermal dissociation limits their contribution to less than 10% in the lower troposphere. Using simultaneous observations of NOx, ΣPNs, ΣANs, HNO3 and average wind speed, we calculate the flux of reactive nitrogen through the meridional plane of 150° W (between 20° and 55° N) to be 0.007 ± 0.002 Tg N day−1, which provides an upper limit of 23 ± 6.5% on the transport efficiency of NOy from East Asia. Observations of NOx, and HOx are used to constrain a 0-D photochemical box model for the calculation of net photochemical ozone production or tendency (Δ O3) as a function of aircraft altitude and NOx concentrations. The model analysis indicates that the photochemical environment of the lower troposphere (altitude < 6 km) over the north Pacific is one of net O3 destruction, with an experimentally determined crossover point between net O3 destruction and net O3 production of 60 pptv NOx. Qualitative indicators of integrated net O3 production derived from simultaneous measurements of O3 and light alkanes (Parrish et al., 1992), also indicate that the north Pacific is, on average, a region of net O3 destruction.
Abstract: In contrast with the textbook view of remote chemistry where HNO3 formation is the primary sink of nitrogen oxides, recent theoretical analyses show that formation of RONO2 (ΣANs) from isoprene and other terpene precursors is the primary net chemical loss of nitrogen oxides over the remote continents where the concentration of nitrogen oxides is low. This then increases the prominence of questions concerning the chemical lifetime and ultimate fate of ΣANs. We present observations of nitrogen oxides and organic molecules collected over the Canadian boreal forest during the summer that show that ΣANs account for ~ 20% of total oxidized nitrogen and that their instantaneous production rate is larger than that of HNO3. This confirms the primary role of reactions producing ΣANs as a control over the lifetime of NOx (NOx = NO + NO2) in remote, continental environments. However, HNO3 is generally present in larger concentrations than ΣANs indicating that the atmospheric lifetime of ΣANs is shorter than the HNO3 lifetime. We investigate a range of proposed loss mechanisms that would explain the inferred lifetime of ΣANs finding that in combination with deposition, two processes are consistent with the observations: (1) rapid ozonolysis of isoprene nitrates where at least ~ 40% of the ozonolysis products release NOx from the carbon backbone and/or (2) hydrolysis of particulate organic nitrates with HNO3 as a product. Implications of these ideas for our understanding of NOx and NOy budget in remote and rural locations are discussed.
Abstract: The reactive uptake coefficients γ, for nitrate radical, NO3, on [similar]100 nm diameter squalane and squalene aerosol were measured (1 atm pressure of N2 and 293 K). For squalane, a branched alkane, γNO3 of 2.8 × 10−3 was estimated. For squalene which contains 6 double bonds, γNO3 was found to be a function of degree of oxidation with an initial value of 0.18 ± 0.03 on fresh particles increasing to 0.82 ± 0.11 on average of over 3 NO3 reactions per squalene molecule in the aerosol. Synchrotron VUV-ionization aerosol mass spectrometry was used to detect the particle phase oxidation products that include as many as 3 NO3 subunits added to the squalene backbone. The fraction of squalene remaining in the aerosol follows first order kinetics under oxidation, even at very high oxidation equivalents, which suggests that the matrix remains a liquid upon oxidation. Our calculation indicates a much shorter chemical lifetime for squalene-like particle with respect to NO3 than its atmospheric lifetime to deposition or wet removal.
Abstract: The CMAQ (Community Multiscale Air Quality) us model in combination with observations for INTEX-NA/ICARTT (Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment–North America/International Consortium for Atmospheric Research on Transport and Transformation) 2004 are used to evaluate recent advances in isoprene oxidation chemistry and provide constraints on isoprene nitrate yields, isoprene nitrate lifetimes, and NOx recycling rates. We incorporate recent advances in isoprene oxidation chemistry into the SAPRC-07 chemical mechanism within the US EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) CMAQ model. The results show improved model performance for a range of species compared against aircraft observations from the INTEX-NA/ICARTT 2004 field campaign. We further investigate the key processes in isoprene nitrate chemistry and evaluate the impact of uncertainties in the isoprene nitrate yield, NOx (NOx = NO + NO2) recycling efficiency, dry deposition velocity, and RO2 + HO2 reaction rates. We focus our examination on the southeastern United States, which is impacted by both abundant isoprene emissions and high levels of anthropogenic pollutants. We find that NOx concentrations increase by 4–9% as a result of reduced removal by isoprene nitrate chemistry. O3 increases by 2 ppbv as a result of changes in NOx. OH concentrations increase by 30%, which can be primarily attributed to greater HOx production. We find that the model can capture observed total alkyl and multifunctional nitrates (ΣANs) and their relationship with O3 by assuming either an isoprene nitrate yield of 6% and daytime lifetime of 6 hours or a yield of 12% and lifetime of 4 h. Uncertainties in the isoprene nitrates can impact ozone production by 10% and OH concentrations by 6%. The uncertainties in NOx recycling efficiency appear to have larger effects than uncertainties in isoprene nitrate yield and dry deposition velocity. Further progress depends on improved understanding of isoprene oxidation pathways, the rate of NOx recycling from isoprene nitrates, and the fate of the secondary, tertiary, and further oxidation products of isoprene.
Abstract: Laboratory studies have established a number of chemical pathways by which nitrogen oxides (NOx) affect atmospheric organic aerosol (OA) production. However, these effects have not been directly observed in ambient OA. We report measurements of particulate organic nitrates in Bakersfield, California, the nighttime formation of which increases with NOx and is suppressed by high concentrations of organic molecules that rapidly react with nitrate radical (NO3)—evidence that multigenerational chemistry is responsible for organic nitrate aerosol production. This class of molecules represents about a third of the nighttime increase in OA, suggesting that most nighttime secondary OA is due to the NO3 product of anthropogenic NOx emissions. Consequently, reductions in NOx emissions should reduce the concentration of organic aerosol in Bakersfield and the surrounding region.
Abstract: We present an analysis of the NOx budget in conditions of low NOx (NOx = NO + NO2) and high biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) concentrations that are characteristic of most continental boundary layers. Using a steady-state model, we show that below 500 pptv of NOx, the NOx lifetime is extremely sensitive to organic nitrate (RONO2) formation rates. We find that even for RONO2 formation values that are an order of magnitude smaller than is typical for continental conditions significant reductions in NOx lifetime, and consequently ozone production efficiency, are caused by nitrate forming reactions. Comparison of the steady-state box model to a 3-D chemical transport model (CTM) confirms that the concepts illustrated by the simpler model are a useful approximation of predictions provided by the full CTM. This implies that the regional and global budgets of NOx, OH, and ozone will be sensitive to assumptions regarding organic nitrate chemistry. Changes in the budgets of these species affect the representation of processes important to air quality and climate. Consequently, CTMs must include an accurate representation of organic nitrate chemistry in order to provide accurate assessments of past, present, and future air quality and climate. These findings suggest the need for further experimental constraints on the formation and fate of biogenic RONO2.
Abstract: N2O5 detection in the atmosphere has been accomplished using techniques which have been developed during the last decade. Most techniques use a heated inlet to thermally decompose N2O5 to NO3, which can be detected by either cavity based absorption at 662 nm or by laser-induced fluorescence. In summer 2007, a large set of instruments, which were capable of measuring NO3 mixing ratios, were simultaneously deployed in the atmosphere simulation chamber SAPHIR in Jülich, Germany. Some of these instruments measured N2O5 mixing ratios either simultaneously or alternatively. Experiments focused on the investigation of potential interferences from, e.g., water vapour or aerosol and on the investigation of the oxidation of biogenic volatile organic compounds by NO3. The comparison of N2O5 mixing ratios shows an excellent agreement between measurements of instruments applying different techniques (3 cavity ring-down (CRDS) instruments, 2 laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) instruments). Datasets are highly correlated as indicated by the square of the linear correlation coefficients, R2, which values were larger than 0.96 for the entire datasets. N2O5 mixing ratios well agree within the combined accuracy of measurements. Slopes of the linear regression range between 0.87 and 1.26 and intercepts are negligible. The most critical aspect of N2O5 measurements by cavity ring-down instruments is the determination of the inlet and filter transmission efficiency. Measurements here show that the N2O5 inlet transmission efficiency can decrease in the presence of high aerosol loads, and that frequent filter/inlet changing is necessary to quantitatively sample N2O5 in some environments. The analysis of data also demonstrates that a general correction for degrading filter transmission is not applicable for all conditions encountered during this campaign. Besides the effect of a gradual degradation of the inlet transmission efficiency aerosol exposure, no other interference for N2O5 measurements is found.
Abstract: Observations of tropospheric NO2 vertical column densities over the United States (US) for 2005–2011 are evaluated using the OMI Berkeley High Resolution (BEHR) retrieval algorithm. We assess changes in NO2 on day-of-week and interannual timescales to assess the impact of changes in emissions from mobile and non-mobile sources on the observed trends. We observe consistent decreases in cities across the US, with an average total reduction of 32 ± 7% across the 7 yr. Changes for large power plants have been more variable (−26 ± 12%) due to regionally-specific regulation policies. An increasing trend of 10–20% in background NO2 columns in the northwestern US is observed. We examine the impact of the economic recession on emissions and find that decreases in NO2 column densities over cities were moderate prior to the recession (−6 ± 5% yr−1), larger during the recession (−8 ± 5% yr−1), and then smaller after the recession (−3 ± 4% yr−1). Differences in the trends observed on weekdays and weekends indicate that prior to the economic recession, NO2 reductions were dominated by technological improvements to the light-duty vehicle fleet but that a decrease in diesel truck activity has contributed to emission reductions since the recession. We use the satellite observations to estimate a 34% decrease in NO2 from mobile sources in cities for 2005–2011 and use that value to infer changes in non-mobile sources. We find that reductions in NO2 from non-mobile sources in cities have been both more modest and more variable than NO2 reductions from mobile sources (−10 ± 13%).
Abstract: We describe the effects of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and organic reactivity reductions on the frequency of high ozone days in California's San Joaquin Valley. We use sixteen years of observations of ozone, nitrogen oxides, and temperature at sites upwind, within, and downwind of three cities to assess the probability of exceeding the California 8-h average ozone standard of 70.4 ppb at each location. The comprehensive data records in the region and the steep decreases in emissions over the last decade are sufficient to constrain the relative import of NOx and organic reactivity reductions on the frequency of violations. We show that high ozone has a large component that is due to local production, as the probability of exceeding the state standard is lowest for each city at the upwind site, increases in the city center, is highest at downwind locations, and then decreases at the receptor city to the south. We see that reductions in organic reactivity have been very effective in the central and northern regions of the San Joaquin but less so in the southern portion of the Valley. We find evidence for two distinct categories of reactivity sources: one source that has decreased and dominates at moderate temperatures, and a second source that dominates at high temperatures, particularly in the southern San Joaquin, and has not changed over the last twelve years. We show that NOx reductions are already effective or are poised to become so in the southern and central Valley, where violations are most frequent, as conditions in these regions have or are transitioning to NOx-limited chemistry when temperatures are hottest and high ozone most probable.
Abstract: The understanding of oxidation in forest atmospheres is being challenged by measurements of unexpectedly large amounts of hydroxyl (OH). A significant number of these OH measurements were made by laser-induced fluorescence in low-pressure detection chambers (called Fluorescence Assay with Gas Expansion (FAGE)) using the Penn State Ground-based Tropospheric Hydrogen Oxides Sensor (GTHOS). We deployed a new chemical removal method to measure OH in parallel with the traditional FAGE method in a California forest. The new method gives on average only 40–60% of the OH from the traditional method and this discrepancy is temperature dependent. Evidence indicates that the new method measures atmospheric OH while the traditional method is affected by internally generated OH, possibly from oxidation of biogenic volatile organic compounds. The improved agreement between OH measured by this new technique and modeled OH suggests that oxidation chemistry in at least one forest atmosphere is better understood than previously thought.
Abstract: Peroxynitrates are responsible for global scale transport of reactive nitrogen. Recent laboratory observations suggest that they may also play an important role in delivery of nutrients to plant canopies. We measured eddy covariance fluxes of total peroxynitrates (ΣPNs) and three individual peroxynitrates (APNs ≡ PAN + PPN + MPAN) over a ponderosa pine forest during the Biosphere Effects on AeRosols and Photochemistry EXperiment 2009 (BEARPEX 2009). Concentrations of these species were also measured at multiple heights above and within the canopy. While the above-canopy daytime concentrations are nearly identical for ΣPNs and APNs, we observed the downward flux of ΣPNs to be 30–60% slower than the flux of APNs. The vertical concentration gradients of ΣPNs and APNs vary with time of day and exhibit different temperature dependencies. These differences can be explained by the production of peroxynitrates other than PAN, PPN, and MPAN within the canopy (presumably as a consequence of biogenic VOC emissions) and upward fluxes of these PN species. The impact of this implied peroxynitrate flux on the interpretation of NOx fluxes and ecosystem N exchange is discussed.
Abstract: Soils have been identified as a major source (~15%) of global nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. Parameterizations of soil NOx emissions (SNOx) commonly used in the current generation of chemical transport models were designed to capture mean seasonal behaviour. These parameterizations do not, however, respond quantitatively to the meteorological triggers that are observed to result in pulsed SNOx. Here we present a new parameterization of SNOx implemented within a global chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem). The parameterization represents available nitrogen (N) in soils using biome specific emission factors, online wet- and dry-deposition of N, and fertilizer and manure N derived from a spatially explicit dataset, distributed using seasonality derived from data obtained by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer. Moreover, it represents the functional form of emissions derived from point measurements and ecosystem scale experiments including pulsing following soil wetting by rain or irrigation, and emissions that are a smooth function of soil moisture as well as temperature between 0 and 30 °C. This parameterization yields global above-soil SNOx of 10.7 Tg N yr−1, including 1.8 Tg N yr−1 from fertilizer N input (1.5% of applied N) and 0.5 Tg N yr−1 from atmospheric N deposition. Over the United States (US) Great Plains region, SNOx are predicted to comprise 15–40% of the tropospheric NO2 column and increase column variability by a factor of 2–4 during the summer months due to chemical fertilizer application and warm temperatures. SNOx enhancements of 50–80% of the simulated NO2 column are predicted over the African Sahel during the monsoon onset (April–June). In this region the day-to-day variability of column NO2 is increased by a factor of 5 due to pulsed-N emissions. We evaluate the model by comparison with observations of NO2 column density from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI). We find that the model is able to reproduce the observed interannual variability of NO2 (induced by pulsed-N emissions) over the US Great Plains. We also show that the OMI mean (median) NO2 observed during the overpass following first rainfall over the Sahel is 49% (23%) higher than in the five days preceding. The measured NO2 on the day after rainfall is still 23% (5%) higher, providing a direct measure of the pulse's decay time of 1–2 days. This is consistent with the pulsing representation used in our parameterization and much shorter than 5–14 day pulse decay length used in current models.
Abstract: Alkyl and multifunctional organic nitrates, molecules of the chemical form RONO2, are products of chain terminating reactions in the tropospheric HOx and NOx catalytic cycles and thereby impact ozone formation locally. Many of the molecules in the class have lifetimes that are long enough that they can be transported over large distances. If the RONO2 then decompose to deliver NOx to remote regions they affect ozone production rates in locations distant from the original NOx source. While measurements of total RONO2 (ΣANs) and small straight chain alkyl nitrates are routine, measurements of the specific multifunctional RONO2 molecules that are believed to dominate the total have rarely been reported and never reported in coincidence with ambient ΣANs measurements. Here we describe observations obtained during the BEARPEX 2009 experiment including ΣANs and a suite of multifunctional nitrates including isoprene derived hydroxynitrates, oxidation products of those nitrates, 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol (MBO) derived hydroxynitrates, and monoterpene nitrates. At the BEARPEX field site, the sum of the individual biogenically derived nitrates account for two-thirds of the ΣANs, confirming predictions of the importance of biogenic nitrates to the NOy budget. Isoprene derived nitrates, transported to the site, are a much larger fraction of the ΣANs at the site than the nitrates derived from the locally emitted MBO. Evidence for additional nitrates, possibly from nocturnal chemistry of isoprene and α-pinene, is presented.
Abstract: Tropospheric ozone is the third strongest greenhouse gas, and has the highest uncertainty in radiative forcing of the top five greenhouse gases. Throughout the troposphere, ozone is produced by radical oxidation of nitrogen oxides (NOx = NO + NO2). In the upper troposphere (8–10 km), current chemical transport models under-estimate nitrogen dioxide (NO2) observations. Improvements to simulated NOx production from lightning have increased NO2 predictions, but the predictions in the upper troposphere remain biased low. The upper troposphere has low temperatures (T < 250 K) that increase the uncertainty of many important chemical reaction rates. This study constrains uncertain reaction rates by combining model predictions with measurements from the Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment-North America observational campaign. The results show that the nitric acid formation rate, which is the dominant sink of NO2 and radicals, is currently over-estimated by 22% in the upper troposphere. The results from this study suggest that the temperature sensitivity of nitric acid formation is lower than currently recommended. Since the formation of nitric acid removes nitrogen dioxide and radicals that drive the production of ozone, the revised reaction rate will affect ozone concentrations in upper troposphere impacting climate and air quality in the lower troposphere.
Abstract: Inference of NOx emissions (NO+NO2) from satellite observations of tropospheric NO2 column requires knowledge of NOx lifetime, usually provided by chemical transport models (CTMs). However, it is known that species subject to non-linear sources or sinks, such as ozone, are susceptible to biases in coarse-resolution CTMs. Here we compute the resolution-dependent bias in predicted NO2 column, a quantity relevant to the interpretation of space-based observations. We use 1-D and 2-D models to illustrate the mechanisms responsible for these biases over a range of NO2 concentrations and model resolutions. We find that predicted biases are largest at coarsest model resolutions with negative biases predicted over large sources and positive biases predicted over small sources. As an example, we use WRF-CHEM to illustrate the resolution necessary to predict 10 AM and 1 PM NO2 column to 10 and 25% accuracy over three large sources, the Four Corners power plants in NW New Mexico, Los Angeles, and the San Joaquin Valley in California for a week-long simulation in July 2006. We find that resolution in the range of 4–12 km is sufficient to accurately model nonlinear effects in the NO2 loss rate.
Abstract: A relaxed eddy accumulation (REA) system combined with a nitrous acid (HONO) analyzer was developed to measure atmospheric HONO vertical fluxes. The system consists of three major components: (1) a fast-response sonic anemometer measuring both vertical wind velocity and air temperature, (2) a fast-response controlling unit separating air motions into updraft and downdraft samplers by the sign of vertical wind velocity, and (3) a highly sensitive HONO analyzer based on aqueous long path absorption photometry that measures HONO concentrations in the updrafts and downdrafts. A dynamic velocity threshold (±0.5σw, where σw is a standard deviation of the vertical wind velocity) was used for valve switching determined by the running means and standard deviations of the vertical wind velocity. Using measured temperature as a tracer and the average values from two field deployments, the flux proportionality coefficient, β, was determined to be 0.42 ± 0.02, in good agreement with the theoretical estimation. The REA system was deployed in two ground-based field studies. In the California Research at the Nexus of Air Quality and Climate Change (CalNex) study in Bakersfield, California in summer 2010, measured HONO fluxes appeared to be upward during the day and were close to zero at night. The upward HONO flux was highly correlated to the product of NO2 and solar radiation. During the Biosphere Effects on Aerosols and Photochemistry Experiment (BEARPEX 2009) at Blodgett Forest, California in July 2009, the overall HONO fluxes were small in magnitude and were close to zero. Causes for the different HONO fluxes in the two different environments are briefly discussed.
Abstract: We present roughly one month of high time-resolution, direct, in situ measurements of gas-phase glyoxal acquired during the BEARPEX 2007 field campaign. The research site, located on a ponderosa pine plantation in the Sierra Nevada mountains, is strongly influenced by biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs); thus this data adds to the few existing measurements of glyoxal in BVOC-dominated areas. The short lifetime of glyoxal of ~1 h, the fact that glyoxal mixing ratios are much higher during high temperature periods, and the results of a photochemical model demonstrate that glyoxal is strongly influenced by BVOC precursors during high temperature periods. A zero-dimensional box model using near-explicit chemistry from the Leeds Master Chemical Mechanism v3.1 was used to investigate the processes controlling glyoxal chemistry during BEARPEX 2007. The model showed that MBO is the most important glyoxal precursor (~67 %), followed by isoprene (~26 %) and methylchavicol (~6 %), a precursor previously not commonly considered for glyoxal production. The model calculated a noon lifetime for glyoxal of ~0.9 h, making glyoxal well suited as a local tracer of VOC oxidation in a forested rural environment; however, the modeled glyoxal mixing ratios over-predicted measured glyoxal by a factor 2 to 5. Loss of glyoxal to aerosol was not found to be significant, likely as a result of the very dry conditions, and could not explain the over-prediction. Although several parameters, such as an approximation for advection, were found to improve the model measurement discrepancy, reduction in OH was by far the most effective. Reducing model OH concentrations to half the measured values decreased the glyoxal over-prediction from a factor of 2.4 to 1.1, as well as the overprediction of HO2 from a factor of 1.64 to 1.14. Our analysis has shown that glyoxal is particularly sensitive to OH concentration compared to other BVOC oxidation products. This relationship arises from (i) the predominantly secondary- or higher-generation production of glyoxal from (mainly OH-driven, rather than O3-driven) BVOC oxidation at this site and (ii) the relative importance of photolysis in glyoxal loss as compared to reaction with OH. We propose that glyoxal is a useful tracer for OH-driven BVOC oxidation chemistry.
Abstract: We present a new retrieval of tropospheric NO2 vertical column density from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) based on high spatial and temporal resolution terrain and profile inputs. We compare our NO2 product, the Berkeley High-Resolution (BEHR) product, with operational retrievals and find that the operational retrievals are biased high (30 %) over remote areas and biased low (8 %) over urban regions. Additionally, we find non-negligible impacts on the retrieved NO2 column for terrain pressure (±20 %), albedo (±40 %), and NO2 vertical profile (−75 %–+10 %). We validate the operational and BEHR products using boundary layer aircraft observations from the Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS-CA) field campaign which occurred in June 2008 in California. Results indicate that columns derived using our boundary layer extrapolation method show good agreement with satellite observations (R2 = 0.65–0.83; N = 68) and provide a more robust validation of satellite-observed NO2 column than those determined using full vertical spirals (R2 = 0.26; N = 5) as in previous work. Agreement between aircraft observations and the BEHR product (R2 = 0.83) is better than agreement with the operational products (R2 = 0.65–0.72). We also show that agreement between satellite and aircraft observations can be further improved (e.g. BEHR: R2 = 0.91) using cloud information from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument instead of the OMI cloud product. These results indicate that much of the variance in the operational products can be attributed to coarse resolution terrain pressure, albedo, and profile parameters implemented in the retrievals.
Abstract: We retrieve slant column NO2 from the super-zoom mode of the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) to explore its utility for understanding NOx emissions and variability. Slant column NO2 is operationally retrieved from OMI (Boersma et al., 2007; Bucsela et al., 2006) with a nadir footprint of 13 × 24 km2, the result of averaging eight detector elements on board the instrument. For 85 orbits in late 2004, OMI reported observations from individual "super-zoom" detector elements (spaced at 13 × 3 km2 at nadir). We assess the spatial response of these individual detector elements in-flight and determine an upper-bound on spatial resolution of 9 km, in good agreement with on-ground calibration (7 km FWHM). We determine the precision of the super-zoom mode to be 2.1 × 1015 molecules cm−2, approximately a factor of √8 lower than an identical retrieval at operational scale as expected if random noise dominates the uncertainty. We retrieve slant column NO2 over the Satpura power plant in India; Seoul, South Korea; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and a set of large point sources on the Rihand Reservoir in India using differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS). Over these sources, the super-zoom mode of OMI observes variation in slant column NO2 of up to 30 × the instrumental precision within one operational footprint.
Abstract: Detailed comparisons of airborne CH2O measurements acquired by tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy with steady state box model calculations were carried out using data from the 2006 INTEX-B and MILARGO campaign in order to improve our understanding of hydrocarbon oxidation processing. This study includes comparisons over Mexico (including Mexico City), the Gulf of Mexico, parts of the continental United States near the Gulf coast, as well as the more remote Pacific Ocean, and focuses on comparisons in the boundary layer. Select previous comparisons in other campaigns have highlighted some locations in the boundary layer where steady state box models have tended to underpredict CH2O, suggesting that standard steady state modeling assumptions might be unsuitable under these conditions, and pointing to a possible role for unmeasured hydrocarbons and/or additional primary emission sources of CH2O. Employing an improved instrument, more detailed measurement-model comparisons with better temporal overlap, up-to-date measurement and model precision estimates, up-to-date rate constants, and additional modeling tools based on both Lagrangian and Master Chemical Mechanism (MCM) runs, we have explained much of the disagreement between observed and predicted CH2O as resulting from non-steady-state atmospheric conditions in the vicinity of large pollution sources, and have quantified the disagreement as a function of plume lifetime (processing time). We show that in the near field (within ~4 to 6 h of the source), steady-state models can either over-or-underestimate observations, depending on the predominant non-steady-state influence. In addition, we show that even far field processes (10–40 h) can be influenced by non-steady-state conditions which can be responsible for CH2O model underestimations by ~20%. At the longer processing times in the 10 to 40 h range during Mexico City outflow events, MCM model calculations, using assumptions about initial amounts of high-order NMHCs, further indicate the potential importance of CH2O produced from unmeasured and multi-generation hydrocarbon oxidation compounds, particularly methylglyoxal, 3-hydroxypropanal, and butan-3-one-al.
Abstract: Validation is the essential part of satellite remote sensing, since the retrieved data must be fit-for-purpose and their significance quantified, whether they are for scientific research or environmental monitoring. Data are validated by comparing satellite data sets with those obtained from ground-based, balloon and airborne instrumentation, or from instruments on other satellites, or with the output of models; all can be fraught with sampling difficulties and comparability. Chapter 7 discusses these problems in some detail and indicates the quality assurance that is used in the field. The possibilities of optimising retrieval algorithms are dealt with, as well the problem of instrument degradation over time. The differing needs for data on trace gases and cloud and aerosol data are mentioned, as are the use of correlative methods. The chapter concludes with requirements for future measurements and possible validation strategies.
Abstract: Observations of NOx in the Sacramento, CA region show that mixing ratios decreased by 30 % between 2001 and 2008. Here we use an observation-based method to quantify net ozone (O3) production rates in the outflow from the Sacramento metropolitan region and examine the O3 decrease resulting from reductions in NOx emissions. This observational method does not rely on assumptions about detailed chemistry of ozone production, rather it is an independent means to verify and test these assumptions. We use an instantaneous steady-state model as well as a detailed 1-D plume model to aid in interpretation of the ozone production inferred from observations. In agreement with the models, the observations show that early in the plume, the NOx dependence for Ox (Ox = O3 + NO2) production is strongly coupled with temperature, suggesting that temperature-dependent biogenic VOC emissions and other temperature-related effects can drive Ox production between NOx-limited and NOx-suppressed regimes. As a result, NOx reductions were found to be most effective at higher temperatures over the 7 year period. We show that violations of the California 1-h O3 standard (90 ppb) in the region have been decreasing linearly with decreases in NOx (at a given temperature) and predict that reductions of NOx concentrations (and presumably emissions) by an additional 30% (relative to 2007 levels) will eliminate violations of the state 1 h standard in the region. If current trends continue, a 30% decrease in NOx is expected by 2012, and an end to violations of the 1 h standard in the Sacramento region appears to be imminent.
Abstract: We use observations of fire radiative power (FRP) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer~(MODIS) and tropospheric NO2 column measurements from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) to derive NO2 wildfire emission coefficients (g MJ−1) for three land types over California and Nevada. Retrieved emission coefficients were 0.279±0.077, 0.342±0.053, and 0.696±0.088 g MJ−1 NO2 for forest, grass and shrub fuels, respectively. These emission coefficients reproduce ratios of emissions with fuel type reported previously using independent methods. However, the magnitude of these coefficients is lower than prior estimates. While it is possible that a negative bias in the OMI NO2 retrieval over regions of active fire emissions is partly responsible, comparison with several other studies of fire emissions using satellite platforms indicates that current emission factors may overestimate the contributions of flaming combustion and underestimate the contributions of smoldering combustion to total fire emissions. Our results indicate that satellite data can provide an extensive characterization of the variability in fire NOx emissions; 67 % of the variability in emissions in this region can be accounted for using an FRP-based parameterization.
Abstract: Using measurements from the NASA Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS) experiment, we show that methyl peroxy nitrate (CH3O2NO2) is present in concentrations of ~5–15 pptv in the springtime arctic upper troposphere. We investigate the regional and global effects of CH3O2NO2 by including its chemistry in the GEOS-Chem 3-D global chemical transport model. We find that at temperatures below 240 K inclusion of CH3O2NO2 chemistry results in decreases of up to ~20 % in NOx, ~20 % in N2O5, ~5 % in HNO3, ~2 % in ozone, and increases in methyl hydrogen peroxide of up to ~14 %. Larger changes are observed in biomass burning plumes lofted to high altitude. Additionally, by sequestering NOx at low temperatures, CH3O2NO2 decreases the cycling of HO2 to OH, resulting in a larger upper tropospheric HO2 to OH ratio. These results may impact some estimates of lightning NOx sources as well as help explain differences between models and measurements of upper tropospheric composition.
Abstract: The formation of organic nitrates and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) were monitored during the NO3 + limonene reaction in the atmosphere simulation chamber SAPHIR at Research Center Jülich. The 24-h run began in a purged, dry, particle-free chamber and comprised two injections of limonene and oxidants, such that the first experiment measured SOA yield in the absence of seed aerosol, and the second experiment yields in the presence of 10 μg m−3 seed organic aerosol. After each injection, two separate increases in aerosol mass were observed, corresponding to sequential oxidation of the two limonene double bonds. Analysis of the measured NO3, limonene, product nitrate concentrations, and aerosol properties provides mechanistic insight and constrains rate constants, branching ratios and vapor pressures of the products. The organic nitrate yield from NO3 + limonene is ≈30%. The SOA mass yield was observed to be 25–40%. The first injection is reproduced by a kinetic model. PMF analysis of the aerosol composition suggests that much of the aerosol mass results from combined oxidation by both O3 and NO3, e.g., oxidation of NO3 + limonene products by O3. Further, later aerosol nitrate mass seems to derive from heterogeneous uptake of NO3 onto unreacted aerosol alkene.
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Abstract: Urban O3 is produced by photochemical chain reactions that amplify background O3 in mixtures of gaseous nitrogen oxides (NOx) and organic molecules. Current thinking treats NOx and organics as independent variables that limit O3 production depending on the NOx to organic ratio; in this paradigm, reducing organics either has no effect or reduces O3. We describe a theoretical counterexample where NOx and organics are strongly coupled and reducing organics increases O3 production, and illustrate the example with observations from Mexico City. This effect arises from chain termination in the HOx and NOx cycles via organic nitrate production. We show that reductions in VOC reactivity that inadvertently reduce organic nitrate production rates will be counterproductive without concurrent reductions in NOx or other organics.
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Abstract: In a companion paper, we introduced the Chemistry of Atmosphere-Forest Exchange (CAFE) model, a vertically-resolved 1-D chemical transport model designed to probe the details of near-surface reactive gas exchange. Here, we apply CAFE to noontime observations from the 2007 Biosphere Effects on Aerosols and Photochemistry Experiment (BEARPEX-2007). In this work we evaluate the CAFE modeling approach, demonstrate the significance of in-canopy chemistry for forest-atmosphere exchange and identify key shortcomings in the current understanding of intra-canopy processes. CAFE generally reproduces BEARPEX-2007 observations but requires an enhanced radical recycling mechanism to overcome a factor of 6 underestimate of hydroxyl (OH) concentrations observed during a warm (~29 °C) period. Modeled fluxes of acyl peroxy nitrates (APN) are quite sensitive to gradients in chemical production and loss, demonstrating that chemistry may perturb forest-atmosphere exchange even when the chemical timescale is long relative to the canopy mixing timescale. The model underestimates peroxy acetyl nitrate (PAN) fluxes by 50% and the exchange velocity by nearly a factor of three under warmer conditions, suggesting that near-surface APN sinks are underestimated relative to the sources. Nitric acid typically dominates gross dry N deposition at this site, though other reactive nitrogen (NOy) species can comprise up to 28% of the N deposition budget under cooler conditions. Upward NO2 fluxes cause the net above-canopy NOy flux to be ~30% lower than the gross depositional flux. CAFE under-predicts ozone fluxes and exchange velocities by ~20%. Large uncertainty in the parameterization of cuticular and ground deposition precludes conclusive attribution of non-stomatal fluxes to chemistry or surface uptake. Model-measurement comparisons of vertical concentration gradients for several emitted species suggests that the lower canopy airspace may be only weakly coupled with the upper canopy. Future efforts to model forest-atmosphere exchange will require a more mechanistic understanding of non-stomatal deposition and a more thorough characterization of in-canopy mixing processes.
Abstract: Regional and global chemical transport models underpredict NOx (NO + NO2) in the upper troposphere where it is a precursor to the greenhouse gas ozone. The NOx bias has been shown in model evaluations using aircraft data (Singh et al., 2007) and total column NO2 (molecules cm−2) from satellite observations (Napelenok et al., 2008). The causes of NOx underpredictions have yet to be fully understood due to the interconnected nature of simulated emission, transport, and chemistry processes. Recent observation-based studies, in the upper troposphere, identify chemical rate coefficients as a potential source of error (Olson et al., 2006; Ren et al., 2008). Since typical chemistry evaluation techniques are not available for upper tropospheric conditions, this study develops an evaluation platform from in situ observations, stochastic convection, and deterministic chemistry. We derive a stochastic convection model and optimize it using two simulated datasets of time since convection, one based on meteorology, and the other on chemistry. The chemistry surrogate for time since convection is calculated using seven different chemical mechanisms, all of which predict shorter time since convection than our meteorological analysis. We evaluate chemical simulations by inter-comparison and by pairing results with observations based on NOx:HNO3, a photochemical aging indicator. Inter-comparison reveals individual chemical mechanism biases and recommended updates. Evaluation against observations shows that all chemical mechanisms overpredict NOx removal relative to long-lived methanol and carbon monoxide. All chemical mechanisms underpredict observed NOx by at least 30%, and further evaluation is necessary to refine simulation sensitivities to initial conditions and chemical rate uncertainties.
Abstract: We analyze detailed atmospheric gas/aerosol composition data acquired during the 2008 NASA ARCTAS (Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites) airborne campaign performed at high northern latitudes in spring (ARCTAS-A) and summer (ARCTAS-B) and in California in summer (ARCTAS-CARB). Biomass burning influences were widespread throughout the ARCTAS campaign. MODIS data from 2000 to 2009 indicated that 2008 had the second largest fire counts over Siberia and a more normal Canadian boreal forest fire season. Near surface arctic air in spring contained strong anthropogenic signatures indicated by high sulfate. In both spring and summer most of the pollution plumes transported to the Arctic region were from Europe and Asia and were present in the mid to upper troposphere and contained a mix of forest fire and urban influences. The gas/aerosol composition of the high latitude troposphere was strongly perturbed at all altitudes in both spring and summer. The reactive nitrogen budget was balanced with PAN as the dominant component. Mean ozone concentrations in the high latitude troposphere were only minimally perturbed (<5 ppb), although many individual pollution plumes sampled in the mid to upper troposphere, and mixed with urban influences, contained elevated ozone (ΔO3/ΔCO = 0.11 ± 0.09 v/v). Emission and optical characteristics of boreal and California wild fires were quantified and found to be broadly comparable. Greenhouse gas emission estimates derived from ARCTAS-CARB data for the South Coast Air Basin of California show good agreement with state inventories for CO2 and N2O but indicate substantially larger emissions of CH4. Simulations by multiple models of transport and chemistry were found to be broadly consistent with observations with a tendency towards under prediction at high latitudes.
Abstract: We present case studies identifying lightning-generated upper tropospheric NOx (LNOx) observed during NASA's Tropical Composition, Cloud and Climate Coupling Experiment (TC4) in July and August 2007. In the campaign, DC-8 aircraft missions, flown from Costa Rica, recorded in situ NO2 profiles near active storms and in relatively quiet areas. We combine these TC4 DC-8 data with satellite data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) to estimate the lightning-generated NO2 (LNO2), above background levels, in the observed OMI NO2 fields. We employ improved off-line processing techniques to customize the OMI retrieval for LNO2. Information on lightning flashes (primarily cloud-to-ground) observed by the Costa Rica Lightning Detection Network operated by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad and the World Wide Lightning Location Network were examined over storms upwind of regions where OMI indicates enhanced LNO2. These flash data are compared with Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission/Lightning Imaging Sensor satellite data to estimate total flashes. Finally, using [NOx]/[NO2] ratios from NASA's Global Modeling Initiative model, we estimate LNOx production per flash for four cases and obtain rates of ∼100-250 mol/flash. These are consistent with rates derived from previous studies of tropical and subtropical storms and below those from modeling of observed midlatitude storms. In our study, environments with stronger anvil-level winds were associated with higher production rates. LIS flash footprint data for one of the low-LNOx production cases with weak upper tropospheric winds suggest below-average flash lengths for this storm. LNOx enhancements over background determined from the OMI data were in less than, but roughly proportional to, aircraft estimates.
Abstract: We determine enhancement ratios for NOx, PAN, and other NOy species from boreal biomass burning using aircraft data obtained during the ARCTAS-B campaign and examine the impact of these emissions on tropospheric ozone in the Arctic. We find an initial emission factor for NOx of 1.06 g NO per kg dry matter (DM) burned, much lower than previous observations of boreal plumes, and also one third the value recommended for extratropical fires. Our analysis provides the first observational confirmation of rapid PAN formation in a boreal smoke plume, with 40% of the initial NOx emissions being converted to PAN in the first few hours after emission. We find little clear evidence for ozone formation in the boreal smoke plumes during ARCTAS-B in either aircraft or satellite observations, or in model simulations. Only a third of the smoke plumes observed by the NASA DC8 showed a correlation between ozone and CO, and ozone was depleted in the plumes as often as it was enhanced. Special observations from the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) also show little evidence for enhanced ozone in boreal smoke plumes between 15 June and 15 July 2008. Of the 22 plumes observed by TES, only 4 showed ozone increasing within the smoke plumes, and even in those cases it was unclear that the increase was caused by fire emissions. Using the GEOS-Chem atmospheric chemistry model, we show that boreal fires during ARCTAS-B had little impact on the median ozone profile measured over Canada, and had little impact on ozone within the smoke plumes observed by TES.
Abstract: A novel instrument is described that quantifies total particle-phase organic nitrates in real time with a detection limit of 0.11 μg m−3 min−1, 45 ppt min−1 (−ONO2). Aerosol nitrates are separated from gas-phase nitrates with a short residence time activated carbon denuder. Detection of organic molecules containing −ONO2 subunits is accomplished using thermal dissociation coupled to laser induced fluorescence detection of NO2. This instrument is capable of high time resolution (seconds) measurements of particle-phase organic nitrates, without interference from inorganic nitrate. Here we use it to quantify organic nitrates in secondary organic aerosol generated from high-NOx photooxidation of limonene, α-pinene, Δ-3-carene, and tridecane. In these experiments the organic nitrate moiety is observed to be 6−15% of the total SOA mass.
Abstract: Current understanding of the vapor−liquid exchange kinetics of liquid water is incomplete, leading to uncertainties in modeling the climatic effects of clouds and aerosol. Initial studies of atmospherically relevant solutes (ammonium sulfate, sodium chloride) indicate that their effect on the evaporation kinetics of water is minimal, but all those constituent ions are also expected to be depleted in concentration at the air−water interface. We present measurements of the evaporation kinetics of water from 4 M sodium perchlorate solution, which is expected to have an enhanced concentration of perchlorate in the surface layer, using Raman thermometry of liquid microdroplets in a free evaporation regime. We determine the evaporation coefficient γe to be 0.47 ± 0.02, ca. 25% smaller than our measured value for pure water (0.62 ± 0.09). This change, while small, indicates that direct interactions between perchlorate ions and evaporating water molecules are affecting the evaporation mechanism and kinetics and suggests that other solutes with high surface affinities may also produce a similar influence in the atmosphere and elsewhere.
Abstract: We examine the interannual variability in the NO2 column over North America measured by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) in 2005–2008. By comparison to a model of soil NOx emissions driven by the North American Regional Reanalysis precipitation and 0–10 cm soil temperature fields, we show the source of this observed interannual variability over much of the central United States in June is fertilizer application. We find that dry, warm conditions followed by convective precipitation induces pulsed emissions of NOx over the agricultural Great Plains. In June 2006 we infer a 50% increase in soil NOx emission and a 30% increase in the tropospheric NO2 column relative to the June 2005–2008 mean. In a case-study of fertilized corn and soybean fields over SE South Dakota, we find an associated rain-induced pulsing event reaching 4.6×1015 molec cm−2, equivalent to a surface concentration of ~2 ppbv. We calculate that soil NOx emissions resulted in a mean daily maximum 8-h ozone enhancement over the agricultural Great Plains of 5 ppbv in June 2006 (with predicted events reaching 16 ppbv) compared with a mean enhancement of 3 ppbv for soil NOx in the years 2005–2008.
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Abstract: To better understand the processing of biogenic VOCs (BVOCs) in the pine forests of the US Sierra Nevada, we measured HCHO at Blodgett Research Station using Quantum Cascade Laser Spectroscopy (QCLS) during the Biosphere Effects on Aerosols and Photochemistry Experiment (BEARPEX) of late summer 2007. Four days of the experiment exhibited particularly copious HCHO, with midday peaks between 15–20 ppbv, while the other days developed delayed maxima between 8–14 ppbv in the early evening. From the expansive photochemical data set, we attempt to explain the observed HCHO concentrations by quantifying the various known photochemical production and loss terms in its chemical budget. Overall, known chemistry predicts a factor of 3–5 times less HCHO than observed. By examining diurnal patterns of the various budget terms we conclude that, during the high HCHO period, local, highly reactive oxidation chemistry produces an abundance of formaldehyde at the site. The results support the hypothesis of previous work at Blodgett Forest suggesting that large quantities of oxidation products, observed directly above the ponderosa pine canopy, are evidence of profuse emissions of very reactive volatile organic compounds (VR-VOCs) from the forest. However, on the majority of days, under generally cooler and more moist conditions, lower levels of HCHO develop primarily influenced by the influx of precursors transported into the region along with the Sacramento plume.
Abstract: We describe ground and space-based measurements of spatial and temporal variation of NO2 in four California metropolitan regions. The measurements of weekly cycles and trends over the years 2005−2008 observed both from the surface and from space are nearly identical to each other. Observed decreases in Los Angeles and the surrounding cities are 46% on weekends and 9%/year from 2005−2008. Similar decreases are observed in the San Francisco Bay area and in Sacramento. In the San Joaquin Valley cities of Fresno and Bakersfield weekend decreases are much smaller, only 27%, and the decreasing trend is only 4%/year. We describe evidence that the satellite observations provide a uniquely complete view of changes in spatial patterns over time. For example, we observe variations in the spatial pattern of weekday−weekend concentrations in the Los Angeles basin with much steeper weekend decreases at the eastern edge of the basin. We also observe that the spatial extent of high NO2 in the San Joaquin Valley has not receded as much as it has for other regions in the state. Analysis of these measurements is used to describe observational constraints on temporal trends in emission sources in the different regions.
Abstract: We interpret observations from the Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment, Phase B (INTEX-B) in spring 2006 using a global chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem) to evaluate sensitivities of the free troposphere above the North Pacific Ocean and North America to Asian anthropogenic emissions. We develop a method to use satellite observations of tropospheric NO2 columns to provide timely estimates of trends in NOx emissions. NOx emissions increased by 33% for China and 29% for East Asia from 2003 to 2006. We examine measurements from three aircraft platforms from the INTEX-B campaign, including a Canadian Cessna taking vertical profiles of ozone near Whistler Peak. The contribution to the mean simulated ozone profiles over Whistler below 5.5 km is at least 7.2 ppbv for Asian anthropogenic emissions and at least 3.5 ppbv for global lightning NOx emissions. Tropospheric ozone columns from OMI exhibit a broad Asian outflow plume across the Pacific, which is reproduced by simulation. Mean modelled sensitivities of Pacific (30° N–60° N) tropospheric ozone columns are at least 4.6 DU for Asian anthropogenic emissions and at least 3.3 DU for lightning, as determined by simulations excluding either source. Enhancements of ozone over Canada from Asian anthropogenic emissions reflect a combination of trans-Pacific transport of ozone produced over Asia, and ozone produced in the eastern Pacific through decomposition of peroxyacetyl nitrates (PANs). A sensitivity study decoupling PANs globally from the model's chemical mechanism establishes that PANs increase ozone production by removing NOx from regions of low ozone production efficiency (OPE) and injecting it into regions with higher OPE, resulting in a global increase in ozone production by 2% in spring 2006. PANs contribute up to 4 ppbv to surface springtime ozone concentrations in western Canada. Ozone production due to PAN transport is greatest in the eastern Pacific; commonly occurring transport patterns advect this ozone northeastward into Canada. Transport events observed by the aircraft confirm that polluted airmasses were advected in this way.
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Abstract: Nitrous acid (HONO) is an important precursor of the hydroxyl radical (OH) in the lower troposphere. Understanding HONO chemistry, particularly its sources and contribution to HOx (=OH+HO2) production, is very important for understanding atmospheric oxidation processes. A highly sensitive instrument for detecting atmospheric HONO based on wet chemistry followed by liquid waveguide long path absorption photometry was deployed in the Biosphere Effects on Aerosols and Photochemistry Experiment (BEARPEX) at Blodgett Forest, California in late summer 2007. The median diurnal variation shows minimum HONO levels of about 20–30 pptv during the day and maximum levels of about 60–70 pptv at night, a diurnal pattern quite different from the results at various other forested sites. Measured HONO/NO2 ratios for a 24-h period ranged from 0.05 to 0.13 with a mean ratio of 0.07. Speciation of reactive nitrogen compounds (NOy) indicates that HONO accounted for only ~3% of total NOy. However, due to the fast HONO loss through photolysis, a strong HONO source (1.59 ppbv day−1) existed in this environment in order to sustain the observed HONO levels, indicating the significant role of HONO in NOy cycling. The wet chemistry HONO measurements were compared to the HONO measurements made with a Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer (CIMS) over a three-day period. Good agreement was obtained between the measurements from the two different techniques. Using the expansive suite of photochemical and meteorological measurements, the contribution of HONO photolysis to HOx budget was calculated to be relatively small (6%) compared to results from other forested sites. The lower HONO mixing ratio and thus its smaller contribution to HOx production are attributed to the unique meteorological conditions and low acid precipitation at Blodgett Forest. Further studies of HONO in this kind of environment are needed to test this hypothesis and to improve our understanding of atmospheric oxidation and nitrogen budget.
Abstract: We use observations from the April 2008 NASA ARCTAS aircraft campaign to the North American Arctic, interpreted with a global 3-D chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem), to better understand the sources and cycling of hydrogen oxide radicals (HOx≡H+OH+peroxy radicals) and their reservoirs (HOy≡HOx+peroxides) in the springtime Arctic atmosphere. We find that a standard gas-phase chemical mechanism overestimates the observed HO2 and H2O2 concentrations. Computation of HOx and HOy gas-phase chemical budgets on the basis of the aircraft observations also indicates a large missing sink for both. We hypothesize that this could reflect HO2 uptake by aerosols, favored by low temperatures and relatively high aerosol loadings, through a mechanism that does not produce H2O2. We implemented such an uptake of HO2 by aerosol in the model using a standard reactive uptake coefficient parameterization with γ(HO2) values ranging from 0.02 at 275 K to 0.5 at 220 K. This successfully reproduces the concentrations and vertical distributions of the different HOx species and HOy reservoirs. HO2 uptake by aerosol is then a major HOx and HOy sink, decreasing mean OH and HO2 concentrations in the Arctic troposphere by 32% and 31% respectively. Better rate and product data for HO2 uptake by aerosol are needed to understand this role of aerosols in limiting the oxidizing power of the Arctic atmosphere.
Abstract: We present a sensitivity analysis of the tropospheric NO2 retrieval from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) using measurements from the Dutch Aerosol and Nitrogen Dioxide Experiments for Validation of OMI and SCIAMACHY (DANDELIONS) and Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment-B (INTEX-B) campaigns held in 2006. These unique campaigns covered a wide range of pollution conditions and provided detailed information on the vertical distribution of NO2. During the DANDELIONS campaign, tropospheric NO2 profiles were measured with a lidar in a highly polluted region of the Netherlands. During the INTEX-B campaign, NO2 profiles were measured using laser-induced fluorescence onboard an aircraft in a range of meteorological and polluted conditions over the Gulf of Mexico and the east Pacific. We present a comparison of measured profiles with a priori profiles used in the OMI tropospheric NO2 retrieval algorithm. We examine how improvements in surface albedo estimates improve the OMI NO2 retrieval. From these comparisons we find that the absolute average change in tropospheric columns retrieved with measured profiles and improved surface albedos is 23% with a standard deviation of 27% and no trend in the improved being larger or smaller than the original. We show that these changes occur in case studies related to pollution in the southeastern United States and pollution outflow in the Gulf of Mexico. We also examine the effects of using improved Mexico City terrain heights on the OMI NO2 product.
Abstract: Peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) and its chemical analogues are increasingly being quantified in the ambient atmosphere by thermal dissociation (TD) followed by detection of either the peroxyacyl radical or the NO2 product. Here we present details of the technique developed at University of California, Berkeley which detects the sum of all peroxynitrates (ΣPNs) via laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) of the NO2 product. We review the various deployments and compare the Berkeley ΣPNs measurements with the sums of PAN and its homologue species detected individually by other instruments. The observed TD-LIF ΣPNs usually agree to within 10% with the summed individual species, thus arguing against the presence of significant concentrations of unmeasured PAN-type compounds in the atmosphere, as suggested by some photochemical mechanisms. Examples of poorer agreement are attributed to a sampling inlet design that is shown to be inappropriate for high NOx conditions. Interferences to the TD-LIF measurements are described along with strategies to minimize their effects.
Abstract: Alkyl and multifunctional nitrates (RONO2, ΣANs) have been observed to be a significant fraction of NOy in a number of different chemical regimes. Their formation is an important free radical chain termination step ending production of ozone and possibly affecting formation of secondary organic aerosol. ΣANs also represent a potentially large, unmeasured contribution to OH reactivity and are a major pathway for the removal of nitrogen oxides from the atmosphere. Numerous studies have investigated the role of nitrate formation from biogenic compounds and in the remote atmosphere. Less attention has been paid to the role ΣANs may play in the complex mixtures of hydrocarbons typical of urban settings. Measurements of total alkyl and multifunctional nitrates, NO2, total peroxy nitrates (ΣPNs), HNO3 and a representative suite of hydrocarbons were obtained from the NASA DC-8 aircraft during spring of 2006 in and around Mexico City and the Gulf of Mexico. ΣANs were observed to be 10–20% of NOy in the Mexico City plume and to increase in importance with increased photochemical age. We describe three conclusions: (1) Correlations of ΣANs with odd-oxygen (Ox) indicate a stronger role for ΣANs in the photochemistry of Mexico City than is expected based on currently accepted photochemical mechanisms, (2) ΣAN formation suppresses peak ozone production rates by as much as 40% in the near-field of Mexico City and (3) ΣANs play a significant role in the export of NOy from Mexico City to the Gulf Region.
Abstract: Four hydroxynitrates (R(OH)R'ONO2) representative of atmospheric volatile organic compound (VOC) oxidation products were synthesized, nebulized and sampled into an Aerodyne High Resolution Time of Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS). The resulting mass spectrum was used to evaluate calibration factors for elemental analysis of organic nitrates by AMS, and to determine the distribution of nitrogen in the detected fragments in a search for an AMS signature of organic nitrates. We found that 30% of the detected nitrogen mass is in the NO+ and NO2+ fragments, 12% at NHx+ fragments, 5% at CxHyOzN+ fragments, and 53% at various CxHyN+ fragments. Elemental analysis indicated that nitrogen was detected with higher efficiency than carbon and hydrogen, but oxygen was detected with reduced efficiency compared to previously reported results for a suite of organics which did not include organic nitrates. The results are used to suggest the maximum corrections to ambient O:C and N:C ratios based on AMS measurements.
Abstract: NO2 concentrations were measured by various instruments during the NO3Comp campaign at the atmosphere simulation chamber SAPHIR at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, in June 2007. Analytical methods included photolytic conversion with chemiluminescence (PC-CLD), broadband cavity ring-down spectroscopy (BBCRDS), pulsed cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS), incoherent broadband cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy (IBB\-CEAS), and laser-induced fluorescence (LIF). All broadband absorption spectrometers were optimized for the detection of the main target species of the campaign, NO3, but were also capable of detecting NO2 simultaneously with reduced sensitivity. NO2 mixing ratios in the chamber were within a range characteristic of polluted, urban conditions, with a maximum mixing ratio of approximately 75 ppbv. The overall agreement between measurements of all instruments was excellent. Linear fits of the combined data sets resulted in slopes that differ from unity only within the stated uncertainty of each instrument. Possible interferences from species such as water vapor and ozone were negligible under the experimental conditions.
Abstract: The Sulfur Transport and dEposition Model (STEM) is applied to the analysis of observations obtained during the Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment-Phase B (INTEX-B), conducted over the eastern Pacific Ocean during spring 2006. Predicted trace gas and aerosol distributions over the Pacific are presented and discussed in terms of transport and source region contributions. Trace species distributions show a strong west (high) to east (low) gradient, with the bulk of the pollutant transport over the central Pacific occurring between ~20° N and 50° N in the 2–6 km altitude range. These distributions are evaluated in the eastern Pacific by comparison with the NASA DC-8 and NSF/NCAR C-130 airborne measurements along with observations from the Mt. Bachelor (MBO) surface site. Thirty different meteorological, trace gas and aerosol parameters are compared. In general the meteorological fields are better predicted than gas phase species, which in turn are better predicted than aerosol quantities. PAN is found to be significantly overpredicted over the eastern Pacific, which is attributed to uncertainties in the chemical reaction mechanisms used in current atmospheric chemistry models in general and to the specifically high PAN production in the SAPRC-99 mechanism used in the regional model. A systematic underprediction of the elevated sulfate layer in the eastern Pacific observed by the C-130 is another issue that is identified and discussed. Results from source region tagged CO simulations are used to estimate how the different source regions around the Pacific contribute to the trace gas species distributions. During this period the largest contributions were from China and from fires in South/Southeast and North Asia. For the C-130 flights, which operated off the coast of the Northwest US, the regional CO contributions range as follows: China (35%), South/Southeast Asia fires (35%), North America anthropogenic (20%), and North Asia fires (10%). The transport of pollution into the western US is studied at MBO and a variety of events with elevated Asian dust, and periods with contributions from China and fires from both Asia and North America are discussed. The role of heterogeneous chemistry on the composition over the eastern Pacific is also studied. The impacts of heterogeneous reactions at specific times can be significant, increasing sulfate and nitrate aerosol production and reducing gas phase nitric acid levels appreciably (~50%).
Abstract: Air quality in the outflow from urban centers affects millions of people, as well as, natural and managed ecosystems downwind. In locations where there are large sources of biogenic VOCs downwind of urban centers, the outflow is characterized by a high VOC reactivity due to biogenic emissions and low NOx. However most field and chamber studies have focused on limiting cases of high NOx or of near zero NOx. Recent measurements of a wide suite of VOCs, O3 and meteorological parameters at several locations within the Sacramento urban plume have provided a detailed benchmark for testing our understanding of chemistry in a plume transitioning from high NOx to low NOx and high VOC reactivity. As an additional simplification, the strong mountain valley circulation in the region makes this urban plume a physical realization of a nearly idealized Lagrangian plume. Here, we describe a model of this plume. We use a Lagrangian model representing chemistry based on the Master Chemical Mechanism (MCM) v3.1 along with mixing and deposition. We discuss the effects of entrainment of background air, the branching ratio for the production of isoprene nitrates and the effects of soil NOx emissions on the composition of the evolving plume. The model predicts that after 2–3 h of chemical processing only 45% of the peroxynitrates (ΣPNs) are PAN and that most (69%) RONO2 are secondary alkyl nitrate products of the reaction of OH with RONO2. We find the model is more consistent with the observations if: a) the yield of ΣPNs from large and multi-functional aldehydes is close to zero; and b) the reaction between OH and RONO2 produces multifunctional nitrates as opposed to either HNO3 or NO2 as is typical in most currently adopted reaction mechanisms. Model results also show that adding NOx emissions throughout the transect increases the available NOx in the downwind regions, but modeled ozone concentrations were little affected by the increased NOx.
Abstract: This paper provides a synthesis of results that have emerged from recent modeling studies of the potential sensitivity of U.S. regional ozone (O3) concentrations to global climate change (ca. 2050). This research has been carried out under the auspices of an ongoing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessment effort to increase scientific understanding of the multiple complex interactions among climate, emissions, atmospheric chemistry, and air quality. The ultimate goal is to enhance the ability of air quality managers to consider global change in their decisions through improved characterization of the potential effects of global change on air quality, including O3. The results discussed here are interim, representing the first phase of the EPA assessment. The aim in this first phase was to consider the effects of climate change alone on air quality, without accompanying changes in anthropogenic emissions of precursor pollutants. Across all of the modeling experiments carried out by the different groups, simulated global climate change causes increases of a few to several parts per billion (ppb) in summertime mean maximum daily 8-h average O3 concentrations over substantial regions of the country. The different modeling experiments in general do not, however, simulate the same regional patterns of change. These differences seem to result largely from variations in the simulated patterns of changes in key meteorological drivers, such as temperature and surface insolation. How isoprene nitrate chemistry is represented in the different modeling systems is an additional critical factor in the simulated O3 response to climate change.
Abstract: Aqueous evaporation and condensation kinetics are poorly understood, and uncertainties in their rates affect predictions of cloud behavior and therefore climate. We measured the cooling rate of 3M ammonium sulfate droplets undergoing free evaporation via Raman thermometry. Analysis of the measurements yields a value of 0.58 ± 0.05 for the evaporation coefficient, identical to that previously determined for pure water. These results imply that subsaturated aqueous ammonium sulfate, which is the most abundant inorganic component of atmospheric aerosol, does not affect the vapor–liquid exchange mechanism for cloud droplets, despite reducing the saturation vapor pressure of water significantly.
Abstract: Acyl peroxy nitrates (APNs, also known as PANs) are formed from the oxidation of aldehydes and other oxygenated VOC (oVOC) in the presence of NO2. There are both anthropogenic and biogenic oVOC precursors to APNs, but a detailed evaluation of this chemistry against observations has proven elusive. Here we describe measurements of PAN, PPN, and MPAN along with the majority of chemicals that participate in their production and loss, including OH, HO2, numerous oVOC, and NO2. Observations were made during the Biosphere Effects on AeRosols and Photochemistry Experiment (BEARPEX 2007) in the outflow of the Sacramento urban plume. These observations are used to evaluate a detailed chemical model of APN ratios and concentrations. We find that the ratios of APNs are nearly independent of the loss mechanisms and thus an especially good test of our understanding of their sources. We show that oxidation of methylvinyl ketone, methacrolein, methyl glyoxal, biacetyl and acetaldehyde are all significant sources of the PAN+peroxy acetyl (PA) radical reservoir, accounting for 26%, 2%, 7%, 20%, and 45%, of the production rate on average during the campaign, respectively. At high temperatures, when upwind isoprene emissions are highest, oxidation of non-acetaldehyde PA radical sources contributes over 60% to the total PA production rate, with methylvinyl ketone being the most important of the isoprene-derived sources. An analysis of absolute APN concentrations reveals a missing APN sink that can be resolved by increasing the PA+∑RO2 rate constant by a factor of 3.
Abstract: In-situ airborne measurements of trace gases, aerosol size distributions, chemistry and optical properties were conducted over Mexico and the Eastern North Pacific during MILAGRO and INTEX-B. Heterogeneous reactions between secondary aerosol precursor gases and mineral dust lead to sequestration of sulfur, nitrogen and chlorine in the supermicrometer particulate size range. Simultaneous measurements of aerosol size distributions and weak-acid soluble calcium result in an estimate of 11 wt% of CaCO3 for Asian dust. During transport across the North Pacific, ~5–30% of the CaCO3 is converted to CaSO4 or Ca(NO3)2 with an additional ~4% consumed through reactions with HCl. The 1996 to 2008 record from the Mauna Loa Observatory confirm these findings, indicating that, on average, 19% of the CaCO3 has reacted to form CaSO4 and 7% has reacted to form Ca(NO3)2 and ~2% has reacted with HCl. In the nitrogen-oxide rich boundary layer near Mexico City up to 30% of the CaCO3 has reacted to form Ca(NO3)2 while an additional 8% has reacted with HCl. These heterogeneous reactions can result in a ~3% increase in dust solubility which has an insignificant effect on their optical properties compared to their variability in-situ. However, competition between supermicrometer dust and submicrometer primary aerosol for condensing secondary aerosol species led to a 25% smaller number median diameter for the accumulation mode aerosol. A 10–25% reduction of accumulation mode number median diameter results in a 30–70% reduction in submicrometer light scattering at relative humidities in the 80–95% range. At 80% RH submicrometer light scattering is only reduced ~3% due to a higher mass fraction of hydrophobic refractory components in the dust-affected accumulation mode aerosol. Thus reducing the geometric mean diameter of the submicrometer aerosol has a much larger effect on aerosol optical properties than changes to the hygroscopic:hydrophobic mass fractions of the accumulation mode aerosol. In the presence of dust, nitric acid concentrations are reduced to <50% of total nitrate (nitric acid plus particulate nitrate). NOy as a fraction of total nitrogen (NOy plus particulate nitrate), is reduced from >85% to 60–80% in the presence of dust. These observations support previous model studies which predict irreversible sequestration of reactive nitrogen species through heterogeneous reactions with mineral dust during long-range transport.
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Abstract: Alkyl nitrates and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) produced during the oxidation of isoprene by nitrate radicals has been observed in the SAPHIR (Simulation of Atmospheric PHotochemistry In a large Reaction Chamber) chamber. A 16 h dark experiment was conducted with temperatures at 289–301 K, and maximum concentrations of 11 ppb isoprene, 62.4 ppb O3 and 31.1 ppb NOx. We find the yield of nitrates is 70±8% from the isoprene + NO3 reaction, and the yield for secondary dinitrates produced in the reaction of primary isoprene nitrates with NO3 is 40±20%. We find an effective rate constant for reaction of NO3 with the group of first generation oxidation products to be 7×10−14 molecule−1 cm3 s−1. At the low total organic aerosol concentration in the chamber (max=0.52 μg m−3) we observed a mass yield (ΔSOA mass/Δisoprene mass) of 2% for the entire 16 h experiment. However a comparison of the timing of the observed SOA production to a box model simulation of first and second generation oxidation products shows that the yield from the first generation products was <0.7% while the further oxidation of the initial products leads to a yield of 14% (defined as ΔSOA/Δisoprene2x where Δisoprene2x is the mass of isoprene which reacted twice with NO3). The SOA yield of 14% is consistent with equilibrium partitioning of highly functionalized C5 products of isoprene oxidation.
Abstract: Oxidation of isoprene through reaction with NO3 radicals is a significant sink for isoprene that persists after dark. The main products of the reaction are multifunctional nitrates. These nitrates constitute a significant NOx sink in the nocturnal boundary layer and they likely play an important role in formation of secondary organic aerosol. Products of the isoprene+NO3 reaction will, in many locations, be abundant enough to affect nighttime radical chemistry and to persist into daytime where they may represent a source of NOx. Product formation in the isoprene + NO3 reaction was studied in a smog chamber at Purdue University. Isoprene nitrates and other hydrocarbon products were observed using Proton Transfer Reaction-Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) and reactive nitrogen products were observed using Thermal Dissociation–Laser Induced Fluorescence (TD-LIF). The organic nitrate yield is found to be 65±12% of which the majority was nitrooxy carbonyls and the combined yield of methacrolein and methyl vinyl ketone (MACR+MVK) is found to be ∼10%. PTR-MS measurements of nitrooxy carbonyls and TD-LIF measurements of total organic nitrates agreed well. The PTR-MS also observed a series of minor oxidation products which were tentatively identified and their yields quantified These other oxidation products are used as additional constraints on the reaction mechanism.
Abstract: Observations of NO, NO2, total peroxy nitrates (ΣPNs), total alkyl nitrates (ΣANs), HNO3, CO, O3, and meteorological parameters were obtained from October 2000 through February 2002 at 1315 m a.s.l., 38.9° N, 120.6° W on Sierra Pacific Industries land, adjacent to the University of California Blodgett Forest Research Station (UC-BFRS). We describe the data set with emphasis on the diurnal cycles during summertime 2001. We show that transport of the Sacramento urban plume is a primary factor responsible for diurnal variation in total reactive nitrogen mixing ratios as well as in NOx, ΣPNs and ΣANs, all of which exhibit a late afternoon/early evening peak. In contrast, HNO3 has a peak just after local noon indicating that HNO3 is in near steady state during the day with production due to photochemistry and removal by deposition and mixing with the background free troposphere. Boundary layer dynamics influence mixing ratios of all species in the early morning. Analysis of the morning feature suggests that higher mixing ratios of NOx and HNO3 persist in the residual layer than in the nocturnal boundary layer indicating the presence of nocturnal sinks of both species. Nighttime observations also indicate large HNO3 and ΣANs production through oxidation of alkenes by NO3.
Abstract: This study explores the upper tropospheric anticyclone above eastern North America and its influence on the summertime buildup and decay of lightning NOx (LNOx) and thunderstorm outflow. LNOx transport is simulated with a particle dispersion model that releases a LNOx tracer from the locations of millions of cloud-to-ground lightning flashes during May–September 2004 and 2006. On average, upper tropospheric zonal flow in May transitions to a closed anticyclone above northern Mexico and the southern United States in July that strengthens in August and rapidly decays in September. Concentrations of the LNOx tracer reach a maximum above the southern United States and Gulf of Mexico in July and August. Fourteen study sites across North America exhibit high day-to-day variability of the LNOx tracer in the upper troposphere during summer, with the sites most heavily influenced by the North American summer monsoon having the greatest background concentrations. During late spring and September the western sites have low concentrations with little variability. In general, the west coast sites plus Barbados have the most aged thunderstorm outflow, while the east coast sites have the least aged outflow. More than 80% of summertime upper tropospheric NOx above the eastern United States is produced by lightning. To produce the best available observation-based view of upper troposphere NOx above North America, measurements from six aircraft campaigns are combined in a single composite plot. The modeled upper tropospheric NOx matches the general continental-scale distribution of NOx in the composite plot, supporting the dominant role of LNOx in the simulations.
Abstract: The yields of organic nitrates and of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) particle formation were measured for the reaction NO3+β-pinene under dry and humid conditions in the atmosphere simulation chamber SAPHIR at Research Center Jülich. These experiments were conducted at low concentrations of NO3 (NO3+N2O5<10 ppb) and β-pinene (peak~15 ppb), with no seed aerosol. SOA formation was observed to be prompt and substantial (~50% mass yield under both dry conditions and at 60% RH), and highly correlated with organic nitrate formation. The observed gas/aerosol partitioning of organic nitrates can be simulated using an absorptive partitioning model to derive an estimated vapor pressure of the condensing nitrate species of pvap~5×10−6 Torr (6.67×10−4 Pa), which constrains speculation about the oxidation mechanism and chemical identity of the organic nitrate. Once formed the SOA in this system continues to evolve, resulting in measurable aerosol volume decrease with time. The observations of high aerosol yield from NOx-dependent oxidation of monoterpenes provide an example of a significant anthropogenic source of SOA from biogenic hydrocarbon precursors. Estimates of the NO3+β-pinene SOA source strength for California and the globe indicate that NO3 reactions with monoterpenes are likely an important source (0.5–8% of the global total) of organic aerosol on regional and global scales.
Abstract: During the Biosphere Effects on AeRosols and Photochemistry EXperiment 2007 (BEARPEX-2007), we observed eddy covariance (EC) fluxes of speciated acyl peroxy nitrates (APNs), including peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN), peroxypropionyl nitrate (PPN) and peroxymethacryloyl nitrate (MPAN), above a Ponderosa pine forest in the western Sierra Nevada. All APN fluxes are net downward during the day, with a median midday PAN exchange velocity of −0.3 cm s−1; nighttime storage-corrected APN EC fluxes are smaller than daytime fluxes but still downward. Analysis with a standard resistance model shows that loss of PAN to the canopy is not controlled by turbulent or molecular diffusion. Stomatal uptake can account for 25 to 50% of the observed downward PAN flux. Vertical gradients in the PAN thermal decomposition (TD) rate explain a similar fraction of the flux, suggesting that a significant portion of the PAN flux into the forest results from chemical processes in the canopy. The remaining "unidentified" portion of the net PAN flux (~15%) is ascribed to deposition or reactive uptake on non-stomatal surfaces (e.g. leaf cuticles or soil). Shifts in temperature, moisture and ecosystem activity during the summer – fall transition alter the relative contribution of stomatal uptake, non-stomatal uptake and thermochemical gradients to the net PAN flux. Daytime PAN and MPAN exchange velocities are a factor of 3 smaller than those of PPN during the first two weeks of the measurement period, consistent with strong intra-canopy chemical production of PAN and MPAN during this period. Depositional loss of APNs can be 3–21% of the gross gas-phase TD loss depending on temperature. As a source of nitrogen to the biosphere, PAN deposition represents approximately 4–19% of that due to dry deposition of nitric acid at this site.
Abstract: The measurement of OH reactivity, the inverse of the OH lifetime, provides a powerful tool to investigate atmospheric photochemistry. A new airborne OH reactivity instrument was designed and deployed for the first time on the NASA DC-8 aircraft during the second phase of Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment-B (INTEX-B) campaign, which was focused on the Asian pollution outflow over Pacific Ocean and was based in Hawaii and Alaska. The OH reactivity was measured by adding OH, generated by photolyzing water vapor with 185 nm UV light in a moveable wand, to the flow of ambient air in a flow tube and measuring the OH signal with laser induced fluorescence. As the wand was pulled back away from the OH detector, the OH signal decay was recorded; the slope of −Δln(signal)/Δtime was the OH reactivity. The overall absolute uncertainty at the 2σ confidence levels is about 1 s−1 at low altitudes (for decay about 6 s−1), and 0.7 s−1 at high altitudes (for decay about 2 s−1). From the median vertical profile obtained in the second phase of INTEX-B, the measured OH reactivity (4.0±1.0 s−1) is higher than the OH reactivity calculated from assuming that OH was in steady state (3.3±0.8 s−1), and even higher than the OH reactivity that was calculated from the total measurements of all OH reactants (1.6±0.4 s−1). Model calculations show that the missing OH reactivity is consistent with the over-predicted OH and under-predicted HCHO in the boundary layer and lower troposphere. The over-predicted OH and under-predicted HCHO suggest that the missing OH sinks are most likely related to some highly reactive VOCs that have HCHO as an oxidation product.
Abstract: Formation of isoprene nitrates (INs) is an important free radical chain termination step ending production of ozone and possibly affecting formation of secondary organic aerosol. Isoprene nitrates also represent a potentially large, unmeasured contribution to OH reactivity and are a major pathway for the removal of nitrogen oxides from the atmosphere. Current assessments indicate that formation rates of isoprene nitrates are uncertain to a factor of 2–3 and the subsequent fate of isoprene nitrates remains largely unconstrained by laboratory, field or modeling studies. Measurements of total alkyl and multifunctional nitrates (ΣANs), NO2, total peroxy nitrates (ΣPNs), HNO3, CH2O, isoprene and other VOC were obtained from the NASA DC-8 aircraft during summer 2004 over the continental US during the INTEX-NA campaign. These observations represent the first characterization of ΣANs over a wide range of land surface types and in the lower free troposphere. ΣANs were a significant, 12–20%, fraction of NOy throughout the experimental domain and ΣANs were more abundant when isoprene was high. We use the observed hydrocarbon species to calculate the relative contributions of ΣAN precursors to their production. These calculations indicate that isoprene represents at least three quarters of the ΣAN source in the summertime continental boundary layer of the US. An observed correlation between ΣANs and CH2O is used to place constraints on nitrate yields from isoprene oxidation, atmospheric lifetimes of the resulting nitrates and recycling efficiencies of nitrates during subsequent oxidation. We find reasonable fits to the data using sets of production rates, lifetimes and recycling efficiencies of INs as follows (4.4%, 16 h, 97%), (8%, 2.5 h, 79%) and (12%, 95 min, 67%). The analysis indicates that the lifetime of ΣANs as a pool of compounds is considerably longer than the lifetime of the individual isoprene nitrates to reaction with OH, implying that the organic nitrate functionality is at least partially maintained through a second oxidation cycle.
Abstract: Fast measurements of aerosol and gas-phase constituents coupled with the ISORROPIA-II thermodynamic equilibrium model are used to study the partitioning of semivolatile inorganic species and phase state of Mexico City aerosol sampled at the T1 site during the MILAGRO 2006 campaign. Overall, predicted semivolatile partitioning agrees well with measurements. PM2.5 is insensitive to changes in ammonia but is to acidic semivolatile species. For particle sizes up to 1μm diameter, semi-volatile partitioning requires 15–30 min to equilibrate; longer time is typically required during the night and early morning hours. Aerosol and gas-phase speciation always exhibits substantial temporal variability, so that aerosol composition measurements (bulk or size-resolved) obtained over large integration periods are not reflective of its true state. When the aerosol sulfate-to-nitrate molar ratio is less than unity, predictions improve substantially if the aerosol is assumed to follow the deliquescent phase diagram. Treating crustal species as "equivalent sodium" (rather than explicitly) in the thermodynamic equilibrium calculations introduces important biases in predicted aerosol water uptake, nitrate and ammonium; neglecting crustals further increases errors dramatically. This suggests that explicitly considering crustals in the thermodynamic calculations is required to accurately predict the partitioning and phase state of aerosols.
Abstract: We describe an approach for characterizing selective binding between oppositely charged ionic functional groups under biologically relevant conditions. Relative shifts in K-shell x-ray absorption spectra of aqueous cations and carboxylate anions indicate the corresponding binding strengths via perturbations of carbonyl antibonding orbitals. XAS spectra measured for aqueous formate and acetate solutions containing lithium, sodium, and potassium cations reveal monotonically stronger binding of the lighter metals, supporting recent results from simulations and other experiments. The carbon K-edge spectra of the acetate carbonyl feature centered near 290 eV clearly indicate a preferential interaction of sodium versus potassium, which was less apparent with formate. These results are in accord with the Law of Matching Water Affinities, relating relative hydration strengths of ions to their respective tendencies to form contact ion pairs. Density functional theory calculations of K-shell spectra support the experimental findings.
Abstract: Measurements of formaldehyde (CH2O) from a tunable diode laser absorption spectrometer (TDLAS) were acquired onboard the NASA DC-8 aircraft during the summer 2004 INTEX-NA campaign to test our understanding of convection and CH2O production mechanisms in the upper troposphere (UT, 6–12 km) over continental North America and the North Atlantic Ocean. The present study utilizes these TDLAS measurements and results from a box model to (1) establish sets of conditions by which to distinguish “background” UT CH2O levels from those perturbed by convection and other causes; (2) quantify the CH2O precursor budgets for both air mass types; (3) quantify the fraction of time that the UT CH2O measurements over North America and North Atlantic are perturbed during the summer of 2004; (4) provide estimates for the fraction of time that such perturbed CH2O levels are caused by direct convection of boundary layer CH2O and/or convection of CH2O precursors; (5) assess the ability of box models to reproduce the CH2O measurements; and (6) examine CH2O and HO2 relationships in the presence of enhanced NO. Multiple tracers were used to arrive at a set of UT CH2O background and perturbed air mass periods, and 46% of the TDLAS measurements fell within the latter category. In general, production of CH2O from CH4 was found to be the dominant source term, even in perturbed air masses. This was followed by production from methyl hydroperoxide, methanol, PAN-type compounds, and ketones, in descending order of their contribution. At least 70% to 73% of the elevated UT observations were caused by enhanced production from CH2O precursors rather than direct transport of CH2O from the boundary layer. In the presence of elevated NO, there was a definite trend in the CH2O measurement–model discrepancy, and this was highly correlated with HO2 measurement–model discrepancies in the UT.
Abstract: We compare tropospheric NO2 column measurements from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) aboard the EOS Aura satellite with coincident in situ aircraft measurements on vertical spirals over the southern United States, Mexico, and the Gulf of Mexico during the INTEX-B campaign in March 2006. Good correlation with no significant bias (r2=0.67, slope=0.99±0.17, n=12) is found for the ensemble of comparisons when the aircraft could spiral sufficiently low to sample most of the NO2 column. Urban spirals where large extrapolations were needed below the aircraft floor (1000 ft) showed poorer agreement. We use the OMI observations together with a global chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem) to estimate emissions of nitrogen oxides over the eastern United States and Mexico in March 2006. Comparison to EPA's National Emissions Inventory 1999 (NEI99) calls for a decrease in power plant emissions and an increase in on-road vehicle emissions relative to that inventory. The rise in vehicular emissions is offsetting the reduction in power plant and industry emissions. These findings are consistent with independent assessments. Our OMI-derived emission estimates for Mexico are higher by a factor of 2.0±0.5 than bottom-up emissions, similar to a comparison between the recently released Mexican NEI99 inventory and the bottom-up showing that the Mexican NEI99 inventory is 1.6–1.8× higher.
Abstract: We present an analysis of in situ NO2 measurements from aircraft experiments between summer 2004 and spring 2006. The data are from the INTEX-A, PAVE, and INTEX-B campaigns and constitute the most comprehensive set of tropospheric NO2 profiles to date. Profile shapes from INTEX-A and PAVE are found to be qualitatively similar to annual mean profiles from the GEOS-Chem model. Using profiles from the INTEX-B campaign, we perform error-weighted linear regressions to compare the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) tropospheric NO2 columns from the near-real-time product (NRT) and standard product (SP) with the integrated in situ columns. Results indicate that the OMI SP algorithm yields NO2 amounts lower than the in situ columns by a factor of 0.86 (±0.2) and that NO2 amounts from the NRT algorithm are higher than the in situ data by a factor of 1.68 (±0.6). The correlation between the satellite and in situ data is good (r = 0.83) for both algorithms. Using averaging kernels, the influence of the algorithm's a priori profiles on the satellite retrieval is explored. Results imply that air mass factors from the a priori profiles are on average slightly larger (∼10%) than those from the measured profiles, but the differences are not significant.
Abstract: The evaporation rate of D2O has been determined by Raman thermometry of a droplet train (12–15 μm diameter) injected into vacuum (~10-5 torr). The cooling rate measured as a function of time in vacuum was fit to a model that accounts for temperature gradients between the surface and the core of the droplets, yielding an evaporation coefficient (γe) of 0.57±0.06. This is nearly identical to that found for H2O (0.62±0.09) using the same experimental method and model, and indicates the existence of a kinetic barrier to evaporation. The application of a recently developed transition-state theory (TST) model suggests that the kinetic barrier is due to librational and hindered translational motions at the liquid surface, and that the lack of an isotope effect is due to competing energetic and entropic factors. The implications of these results for cloud and aerosol particles in the atmosphere are discussed.
Abstract: We use an ensemble of aircraft, satellite, sonde, and surface observations for April–May 2006 (NASA/INTEX-B aircraft campaign) to better understand the mechanisms for transpacific ozone pollution and its implications for North American air quality. The observations are interpreted with a global 3-D chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem). OMI NO2 satellite observations constrain Asian anthropogenic NOx emissions and indicate a factor of 2 increase from 2000 to 2006 in China. Satellite observations of CO from AIRS and TES indicate two major events of Asian transpacific pollution during INTEX-B. Correlation between TES CO and ozone observations shows evidence for transpacific ozone pollution. The semi-permanent Pacific High and Aleutian Low cause splitting of transpacific pollution plumes over the Northeast Pacific. The northern branch circulates around the Aleutian Low and has little impact on North America. The southern branch circulates around the Pacific High and some of that air impacts western North America. Both aircraft measurements and model results show sustained ozone production driven by peroxyacetylnitrate (PAN) decomposition in the southern branch, roughly doubling the transpacific influence from ozone produced in the Asian boundary layer. Model simulation of ozone observations at Mt. Bachelor Observatory in Oregon (2.7 km altitude) indicates a mean Asian ozone pollution contribution of 9±3 ppbv to the mean observed concentration of 54 ppbv, reflecting mostly an enhancement in background ozone rather than episodic Asian plumes. Asian pollution enhanced surface ozone concentrations by 5–7 ppbv over western North America in spring 2006. The 2000–2006 rise in Asian anthropogenic emissions increased this influence by 1–2 ppbv.
Abstract: OH and HO2 were measured with the Airborne Tropospheric Hydrogen Oxides Sensor (ATHOS) as part of a large measurement suite from the NASA DC-8 aircraft during the Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment-A (INTEX-A). This mission, which was conducted mainly over North America and the western Atlantic Ocean in summer 2004, was an excellent test of atmospheric oxidation chemistry. The HOx results from INTEX-A are compared to those from previous campaigns and to results for other related measurements from INTEX-A. Throughout the troposphere, observed OH was generally 0.95 of modeled OH; below 8 km, observed HO2 was generally 1.20 of modeled HO2. This observed-to-modeled comparison is similar to that for TRACE-P, another midlatitude study for which the median observed-to-modeled ratio was 1.08 for OH and 1.34 for HO2, and to that for PEM-TB, a tropical study for which the median observed-to-modeled ratio was 1.17 for OH and 0.97 for HO2. HO2 behavior above 8 km was markedly different. The observed-to-modeled HO2 ratio increased from ∼1.2 at 8 km to ∼3 at 11 km with the observed-to-modeled ratio correlating with NO. Above 8 km, the observed-to-modeled HO2 and observed NO were both considerably greater than observations from previous campaigns. In addition, the observed-to-modeled HO2/OH, which is sensitive to cycling reactions between OH and HO2, increased from ∼1.5 at 8 km to almost 3.5 at 11 km. These discrepancies suggest a large unknown HOx source and additional reactants that cycle HOx from OH to HO2. In the continental planetary boundary layer, the observed-to-modeled OH ratio increased from 1 when isoprene was less than 0.1 ppbv to over 4 when isoprene was greater than 2 ppbv, suggesting that forests throughout the United States are emitting unknown HOx sources. Progress in resolving these discrepancies requires a focused research activity devoted to further examination of possible unknown OH sinks and HOx sources.
Abstract: Volatile organic compound (VOC) reactivity in central California is examined using a photochemical air quality model (the Community Multiscale Air Quality model; CMAQ) and ground-based measurements to evaluate the contribution of VOC to photochemical activity. We classify VOC into four categories: anthropogenic, biogenic, aldehyde, and other oxygenated VOC. Anthropogenic and biogenic VOC consist of primary emissions, while aldehydes and other oxygenated VOC include both primary anthropogenic emissions and secondary products from primary VOC oxidation. To evaluate the model treatment of VOC chemistry, we compare calculated and modeled OH and VOC reactivities using the following metrics: 1) cumulative distribution functions of NOx concentration and VOC reactivity (ROH,VOC), 2) the relationship between ROH,VOC and NOx, 3) total OH reactivity (ROH,total) and speciated contributions, and 4) the relationship between speciated ROH,VOC and NOx. We find that the model predicts ROH,total to within 25–40% at three sites representing urban (Sacramento), suburban (Granite Bay) and rural (Blodgett Forest) chemistry. However in the urban area of Fresno, the model under predicts NOx and VOC emissions by a factor of 2–3. At all locations the model is consistent with observations of the relative contributions of total VOC. In urban areas, anthropogenic and biogenic ROH,VOC are predicted fairly well over a range of NOx conditions. In suburban and rural locations, anthropogenic and other oxygenated ROH,VOC relationships are reproduced, but calculated biogenic and aldehyde ROH,VOC are often poorly characterized by measurements, making evaluation of the model with available data unreliable. In central California, 30–50% of the modeled urban VOC reactivity is due to aldehydes and other oxygenated species, and the total oxygenated ROH,VOC is nearly equivalent to anthropogenic VOC reactivity. In rural vegetated regions, biogenic and aldehyde reactivity dominates. This indicates that more attention needs to be paid to the accuracy of models and measurements of both primary emissions of oxygenated VOC and secondary production of oxygenates, especially formaldehyde and other aldehydes, and that a more comprehensive set of oxygenated VOC measurements is required to include all of the important contributions to atmospheric reactivity.
Abstract: We describe observations of atmospheric reactive nitrogen compounds including NO, NO2, total peroxy nitrates, total alkyl nitrates, and HNO3 and their correlation with temperature. The measurements were made at a rural location 1315 m a.s.l. on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California during summer of 2001. The ratio of HNO3 to its source molecule, NO2, and the ratio of HNO3 to all other higher oxides of nitrogen (NOz) both increase with increasing temperature. Analysis of these increases suggests they are due to a steep increase in OH of between a factor of 2 and 3 over the range 18–32°C. Total peroxy nitrates decrease and total alkyl nitrates increase over the same temperature range. The decrease in the total peroxy nitrates is shown to be much less than expected if the rate of thermal decomposition were the sole important factor. This observation is consistent with the increase in OH inferred from the temperature trends in the HNO3/NO2 ratio.
Abstract: Measurements of exchange of reactive nitrogen oxides between the atmosphere and a ponderosa pine forest in the Sierra Nevada Mountains are reported. During winter, we observe upward fluxes of NO2, and downward fluxes of total peroxy and peroxy acyl nitrates (ΣPNs), total gas and particle phase alkyl and multifunctional alkyl nitrates (ΣANs(g+p)), and the sum of gaseous HNO3 and semi-volatile NO3− particles (HNO3(g+p)). We use calculations of the vertical profile and flux of NO, partially constrained by observations, to show that net midday ΣNOyi fluxes in winter are –4.9 ppt m s−1. The signs and magnitudes of these wintertime individual and ΣNOyi fluxes are in the range of prior measurements. In contrast, during summer, we observe downward fluxes only of ΣANs(g+p), and upward fluxes of HNO3(g+p), ΣPNs and NO2 with signs and magnitudes that are unlike most, if not all, previous observations and analyses of fluxes of individual nitrogen oxides. The results imply that the mechanisms contributing to NOy fluxes, at least at this site, are much more complex than previously recognized. We show that the observations of upward fluxes of HNO3(g+p) and σPNs during summer are consistent with oxidation of NO2 and acetaldehyde by an OH x residence time of 1.1×1010 molec OH cm−3 s, corresponding to 3 to 16×107 molecules cm−3 OH within the forest canopy for a 420 to 70 s canopy residence time. We show that ΣAN(g+p) fluxes are consistent with this range in OH if the reaction of OH with ΣANs produces either HNO3 or NO2 with a 6–30% yield. Calculations of NO fluxes constrained by the NO2 observations and the inferred OH indicate that NOx fluxes are downward into the canopy because of the substantial conversion of NOx to HNO3 and σPNs in the canopy. Even so, we derive that NOx emission fluxes of ~15 ng(N) m−2 s−1 at midday during summer are required to balance the NOx and NOy flux budgets. These fluxes are partly explained by estimates of soil emissions (estimated to be between 3 and 6 ng(N) m−2 s-1). One possibility for the remainder of the NOx source is large HONO emissions. Alternatively, the 15 ng(N) m−2 s−1 emission estimate may be too large, and the budget balanced if the deposition of HNO3 and σPNs is slower than we estimate, if there are large errors in either our understanding of peroxy radical chemistry, or our assumptions that the budget is required to balance because the fluxes do not obey similarity theory.
Abstract: We present the first regional-scale chemistry simulation investigating the effects of biogenic 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol (MBO) emissions on air quality. In a central California model domain, MBO emissions have a distinctly different regional pattern than isoprene but have similar daily maxima of about 5 mg m−2 hr−1. MBO oxidation causes an increase in ozone, formaldehyde, acetone and consequently hydrogen radical production (PHOx). The addition of MBO increases the daily maximum ozone as much as 3 ppb near source regions (2–5% in rural areas) and as much as 1 ppb in the Central Valley. Formaldehyde concentrations increase by as much as 1 ppb (40%) over the Sierra Nevada Mountains, increasing the production of HOx by 10–20% and accelerating local chemistry. This indicates that inclusion of MBO and other biogenic oxygenated emissions in regional simulations in the western and southeastern United States is essential for accurate representation of ozone and HOx.
Abstract: Global ozone analyses, based on assimilation of stratospheric profile and ozone column measurements, and NOy predictions from the Real-time Air Quality Modeling System (RAQMS) are used to estimate the ozone and NOy budget over the continental United States during the July–August 2004 Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment–North America (INTEX-A). Comparison with aircraft, satellite, surface, and ozonesonde measurements collected during INTEX-A show that RAQMS captures the main features of the global and continental U.S. distribution of tropospheric ozone, carbon monoxide, and NOy with reasonable fidelity. Assimilation of stratospheric profile and column ozone measurements is shown to have a positive impact on the RAQMS upper tropospheric/lower stratosphere ozone analyses, particularly during the period when SAGE III limb scattering measurements were available. Eulerian ozone and NOy budgets during INTEX-A show that the majority of the continental U.S. export occurs in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere poleward of the tropopause break, a consequence of convergence of tropospheric and stratospheric air in this region. Continental U.S. photochemically produced ozone was found to be a minor component of the total ozone export, which was dominated by stratospheric ozone during INTEX-A. The unusually low photochemical ozone export is attributed to anomalously cold surface temperatures during the latter half of the INTEX-A mission, which resulted in net ozone loss during the first 2 weeks of August. Eulerian NOy budgets are shown to be very consistent with previously published estimates. The NOy export efficiency was estimated to be 24%, with NOx + PAN accounting for 54% of the total NOy export during INTEX-A.
Abstract: Satellite observations have the potential to provide an accurate picture of atmospheric chemistry and air quality on a variety of spatial and temporal scales. A key consideration in the design of new instruments is the spatial resolution required to effectively monitor air quality from space. In this paper, variograms have been used to address this issue by calculating the horizontal length scales of ozone within the boundary layer and free troposphere using both in situ aircraft data from five different NASA aircraft campaigns and simulations with an air-quality model. For both the observations and the model, the smallest scale features were found in the boundary layer, with a characteristic scale of about 50 km which increased to greater than 150 km above the boundary layer. The length scale changes with altitude. It is shown that similar length scales are derived based on a totally independent approach using constituent lifetimes and typical wind speeds. To date, the spaceborne observations of tropospheric constituents have been from several instruments including TOMS, GOME, MOPITT, TES, and OMI which, in general, have different weighting functions that need to be considered, and none really measures at the surface. A further complication is that most satellite measurements (such as those of OMI and GOME) are of the vertically integrated column. In this paper, the length scales in the column measurements were also of the order of 50 km. To adequately resolve the 50-km features, a horizontal resolution of at least 10 km would be desirable.
Abstract: We analyze aircraft observations obtained during INTEX-A (1 July to 14 August 2004) to examine the summertime influence of Asian pollution in the free troposphere over North America. By applying correlation analysis and principal component analysis (PCA) to the observations between 6 and 12 km, we find dominant influences from recent convection and lightning (13% of observations), Asia (7%), the lower stratosphere (7%), and boreal forest fires (2%), with the remaining 71% assigned to background. Asian air masses are marked by high levels of CO, O3, HCN, PAN, C2H2, C6H6, methanol, and SO42–. The partitioning of NOy species in the Asian plumes is dominated by PAN (∼600 pptv), with varying NOx/HNO3 ratios in individual plumes, consistent with individual transit times of 3–9 days. Export of Asian pollution occurred in warm conveyor belts of midlatitude cyclones, deep convection, and in typhoons. Compared to Asian outflow measurements during spring, INTEX-A observations display lower levels of anthropogenic pollutants (CO, C3H8, C2H6, C6H6) due to shorter summer lifetimes; higher levels of biogenic tracers (methanol and acetone) because of a more active biosphere; and higher levels of PAN, NOx, HNO3, and O3 reflecting active photochemistry, possibly enhanced by efficient NOy export and lightning. The high ΔO3/ΔCO ratio (0.76 mol/mol) in Asian plumes during INTEX-A is due to strong photochemical production and, in some cases, mixing with stratospheric air along isentropic surfaces. The GEOS-Chem global model captures the timing and location of the Asian plumes. However, it significantly underestimates the magnitude of observed enhancements in CO, O3, PAN and NOx.
Abstract: The formation of organic nitrates during the oxidation of the biogenic hydrocarbon isoprene can strongly affect boundary layer concentrations of ozone and nitrogen oxides (NOx = NO + NO2). We constrain uncertainties in the chemistry of these isoprene nitrates using chemical transport model simulations in conjunction with observations over the eastern United States from the International Consortium for Atmospheric Research on Transport and Transformation (ICARTT) field campaign during summer 2004. The model best captures the observed boundary layer concentrations of organic nitrates and their correlation with ozone using a 4% yield of isoprene nitrate production from the reaction of isoprene hydroxyperoxy radicals with NO, a recycling of 40% NOx when isoprene nitrates react with OH and ozone, and a fast dry deposition rate of isoprene nitrates. Simulated boundary layer concentrations are only weakly sensitive to the rate of photochemical loss of the isoprene nitrates. An 8% yield of isoprene nitrates degrades agreement with the observations somewhat, but concentrations are still within 50% of observations and thus cannot be ruled out by this study. Our results indicate that complete recycling of NOx from the reactions of isoprene nitrates and slow rates of isoprene nitrate deposition are incompatible with the observations. We find that ∼50% of the isoprene nitrate production in the model occurs via reactions of isoprene (or its oxidation products) with the NO3 radical, but note that the isoprene nitrate yield from this pathway is highly uncertain. Using recent estimates of rapid reaction rates with ozone, 20–24% of isoprene nitrates are lost via this pathway, implying that ozonolysis is an important loss process for isoprene nitrates. Isoprene nitrates are shown to have a major impact on the nitrogen oxide (NOx = NO + NO2) budget in the summertime U.S. continental boundary layer, consuming 15–19% of the emitted NOx, of which 4–6% is recycled back to NOx and the remainder is exported as isoprene nitrates (2–3%) or deposited (8–10%). Our constraints on reaction rates, branching ratios, and deposition rates need to be confirmed through further laboratory and field measurements. The model systematically underestimates free tropospheric concentrations of organic nitrates, indicating a need for future investigation of the processes controlling the observed distribution.
Abstract: A theoretical model of liquid water evaporation has been developed to interpret results from a recent experimental investigation of isotope fractionation during free evaporation [Cappa et al. J. Phys. Chem. B 2005, 109 (51), 24391]. It is established that the free evaporation isotope fractionation factors (αevap) are primarily influenced by the nature of the intermolecular interactions between water molecules, namely, the condensed phase hindered translational and librational frequencies at the surface. The dependence of αevap on the isotopic composition of the liquid can be understood in terms of small variations in these frequencies with isotopic composition. This result suggests that the explicit nature of the solvation environment directly influences evaporation rates from liquids. The sensitivity of the calculated evaporation coefficient for liquid water to both temperature and isotope composition is also explored.
Abstract: X-ray absorption spectra of aqueous 4 and 6 M potassium hydroxide solutions have been measured near the oxygen K edge. Upon addition of KOH to water, a new spectral feature (532.5 eV) emerges at energies well below the liquid water pre-edge feature (535 eV) and is attributed to OH- ions. In addition to spectral changes explicitly due to absorption by solvated OH- ions, calculated XA spectra indicate that first-solvation-shell water molecules exhibit an absorption spectrum that is unique from that of bulk liquid water. It is suggested that this spectral change results primarily from direct electronic perturbation of the unoccupied molecular orbitals of first-shell water molecules and only secondarily from geometric distortion of the local hydrogen bond network within the first hydration shell. Both the experimental and the calculated XA spectra indicate that the nature of the interaction between the OH- ion and the solvating water molecules is fundamentally different than the corresponding interactions of aqueous halide anions with respect to this direct orbital distortion. Analysis of the Mulliken charge populations suggests that the origin of this difference is a disparity in the charge asymmetry between the hydrogen atoms of the solvating water molecules. The charge asymmetry is induced both by electric field effects due to the presence of the anion and by charge transfer from the respective ions. The computational results also indicate that the OH- ion exists with a predominately “hyper-coordinated” solvation shell and that the OH- ion does not readily donate hydrogen bonds to the surrounding water molecules.
Abstract: We use observations from two aircraft during the ICARTT campaign over the eastern United States and North Atlantic during summer 2004, interpreted with a global 3-D model of tropospheric chemistry (GEOS-Chem) to test current understanding of regional sources, chemical evolution, and export of NOx. The boundary layer NOx data provide top-down verification of a 50% decrease in power plant and industry NOx emissions over the eastern United States between 1999 and 2004. Observed NOx concentrations at 8–12 km altitude were 0.55 ± 0.36 ppbv, much larger than in previous U.S. aircraft campaigns (ELCHEM, SUCCESS, SONEX) though consistent with data from the NOXAR program aboard commercial aircraft. We show that regional lightning is the dominant source of this upper tropospheric NOx and increases upper tropospheric ozone by 10 ppbv. Simulating ICARTT upper tropospheric NOx observations with GEOS-Chem requires a factor of 4 increase in modeled NOx yield per flash (to 500 mol/flash). Observed OH concentrations were a factor of 2 lower than can be explained from current photochemical models, for reasons that are unclear. A NOy-CO correlation analysis of the fraction f of North American NOx emissions vented to the free troposphere as NOy (sum of NOx and its oxidation products) shows observed f = 16 ± 10% and modeled f = 14 ± 9%, consistent with previous studies. Export to the lower free troposphere is mostly HNO3 but at higher altitudes is mostly PAN. The model successfully simulates NOy export efficiency and speciation, supporting previous model estimates of a large U.S. anthropogenic contribution to global tropospheric ozone through PAN export.
Abstract: A comprehensive group of reactive nitrogen species (NO, NO2, HNO3, HO2NO2, PANs, alkyl nitrates, and aerosol-NO3−) were measured over North America during July/August 2004 from the NASA DC-8 platform (0.1–12 km). Nitrogen containing tracers of biomass combustion (HCN and CH3CN) were also measured along with a host of other gaseous (CO, VOC, OVOC, halocarbon) and aerosol tracers. Clean background air as well as air with influences from biogenic emissions, anthropogenic pollution, biomass combustion, convection, lightning, and the stratosphere was sampled over the continental United States, the Atlantic, and the Pacific. The North American upper troposphere (UT) was found to be greatly influenced by both lightning NOx and surface pollution lofted via convection and contained elevated concentrations of PAN, ozone, hydrocarbons, and NOx. Observational data suggest that lightning was a far greater contributor to NOx in the UT than previously believed. PAN provided a dominant reservoir of reactive nitrogen in the UT while nitric acid dominated in the lower troposphere (LT). Peroxynitric acid (HO2NO2) was present in sizable concentrations peaking at around 8 km. Aerosol nitrate appeared to be mostly contained in large soil based particles in the LT. Plumes from Alaskan fires contained large amounts of PAN and aerosol nitrate but little enhancement in ozone. A comparison of observed data with simulations from four 3-D models shows significant differences between observations and models as well as among models. We investigate the partitioning and interplay of the reactive nitrogen species within characteristic air masses and further examine their role in ozone formation.
Abstract: We describe a new laboratory-based method for in situ detection of nitrous acid (HONO) using a combination of thermal dissociation (TD) and chemiluminescent (CL) detection of nitric oxide. A prototype was built using a commercial NO sensor. Laboratory tests for possible chemical interferences show that measurements are affected in predictable ways by NO2, peroxy nitrates, alkyl nitrates, HNO3, O3 and H2O.
Abstract: Observations of NO2, total peroxy nitrates, total alkyl nitrates, and HNO3 along with a variety of correlative measurements over the full annual cycle (March 2003- February 2004) were collected at Big Hill CA (38.842 °N, 120.408 °W, 1860 m). The elevation and location of the Big Hill site, approximately 30 km west of Lake Tahoe, were chosen so that observations made there could be analyzed to quantify the influence of urban areas, such as Sacramento and San Francisco, which are upwind of Lake Tahoe during westerly flow. Examining the seasonal and diurnal behaviour of reactive nitrogen at the site shows that in the winter:
· total reactive nitrogen is lower, net flow at the surface is downhill and the urban plume rarely reaches the western rim of the Basin.
· individual episodes of high NO2 and inorganic nitrates associated with small-scale burning events along the western slope may generate HNO3 that can reach Tahoe
Combining our data with corresponding measurements at UC Blodgett Forest, we have developed a highly constrained model of the processes that govern reactive nitrogen distribution during the summer months in the region. Based on our analyses of the observations made, we can draw the following conclusions:
· During summer months, the Sacramento plume is the dominant source of reactive nitrogen in the region of the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, but this plume rarely reaches as far east as the Tahoe Basin
· HNO3 deposition is sufficiently fast that very little remains in the plume by the time it reaches high elevation sites near the western rim of the Lake Tahoe Basin
· At Big Hill, similar concentrations of HNO3 are found in airmasses coming from Sacramento (west) and Tahoe (east), demonstrating that urban areas to the west of Lake Tahoe cannot be identified as a net source of nitric acid to the Tahoe Basin
· Organic nitrates are significantly elevated in the plume compared to background conditions but their contribution to nitrogen deposition remains poorly understood
Yearlong measurements from Big Hill, just west of the Lake Tahoe Basin, show that the chemical processing, deposition, and dilution of urban emissions result in a negligible direct contribution of this upwind source to dry deposition of nitrogen oxides to Lake Tahoe.
Abstract: The first direct in situ measurements of HO2NO2 in the upper troposphere were performed from the NASA DC-8 during the Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment–North America 2004 with a chemical ionization mass spectrometer (CIMS). These measurements provide an independent diagnostic of HOx chemistry in the free troposphere and complement direct observations of HOx, because of the dual dependency of HO2NO2 on HOx and NOx. On average, the highest HO2NO2 mixing ratio of 76 pptv (median = 77 pptv, σ = 39 pptv) was observed at altitudes of 8–9 km. Simple steady state calculations of HO2NO2, constrained by measurements of HOx, NOx, and J values, are in good agreement (slope = 0.90, R2 = 0.60, and z = 5.5–7.5 km) with measurements in the midtroposphere where thermal decomposition is the major loss process. Above 8 km the calculated steady state HO2NO2 is in poor agreement with observed values (R2 = 0.20) and is typically larger by a factor of 2.4. Conversely, steady state calculations using model-derived HOx show reasonable agreement with the observed HO2NO2 in both the midtroposphere (slope = 0.96, intercept = 7.0, and R2 = 0.63) and upper troposphere (slope = 0.80, intercept = 32.2, and R2 = 0.58). These results indicate that observed HO2 and HO2NO2 are in poor agreement in the upper troposphere but that HO2NO2 levels are consistent with current photochemical theory.
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Abstract: We present a statistical representation of the aggregate effects of deep convection on the chemistry and dynamics of the upper troposphere (UT) based on direct aircraft observations of the chemical composition of the UT over the eastern United States and Canada during summer. These measurements provide unique observational constraints on the chemistry occurring downwind of convection and the rate at which air in the UT is recycled. These results provide quantitative measures that can be used to evaluate global climate and chemistry models.
Abstract: We describe measurements of total peroxy nitrates (ΣPNs), NO2, O3 and several aldehydes at Granite Bay, California, during the Chemistry and Transport of the Sacramento Urban Plume-2001 (CATSUP 2001) campaign, from 19 July–16 September 2001. We observed a strong photochemically driven variation of ΣPNs during the day with the median of 1.2 ppb at noon. Acetaldehyde, pentanal, hexanal and methacrolein had median abundances in the daytime of 1.2 ppb, 0.093 ppb, 0.14 ppb, and 0.27 ppb, respectively. We compare steady state and time dependent calculations of the dependence of ΣPNs on aldehydes, OH, NO and NO2 showing that the steady state calculations are accurate to ±30% between 10:00 and 18:00 h. We use the steady state calculation to investigate the composition of ΣPNs and the concentration of OH at Granite Bay. We find that PN molecules that have never been observed before make up an unreasonably large fraction of the ΣPNs unless we assume that there exists a PAN source that is much larger than the acetaldehyde source. We calculate that OH at the site varied between 2 and 7×106 molecule cm−3 at noon during the 8 weeks of the experiment.
Abstract: Day-of-week patterns in human activities can be used to examine the ways in which differences in primary emissions result in changes in the rates of photochemical reactions, and the production of secondary pollutants. Data from twelve California Air Resources Board monitoring sites in Sacramento, CA, and the downwind Mountain Counties air basin are analyzed to reveal day of week patterns in ozone and its precursors in the summers of 1998–2002. Measurements of non-methane hydrocarbons are available for the summers of 2001–2003 at three of these sites and NOx at six of these sites for the full time period. This routine monitoring data is complemented by data sets of ozone and nitrogen oxide concentrations obtained in the summers of 2001 and 2003 at three sites in the region and comprehensive measurements of VOC reactivity at two sites in 2001. Daytime concentrations of nitrogen oxides (NOx≡NO+NO2) are approximately 35% lower on weekends at all the sites, whereas the VOC reactivity changes by less than 10%. All six sites in the Sacramento Valley have higher 8-h maximum average ozone on the weekend and are more likely to exceed the national standard of 85 ppb on the weekend. In contrast, all the sites in the Mountain Counties are less likely to exceed the federal ozone standard on the weekend. Analysis of the day-of-week trends in odd oxygen show that the weekend effect of ozone within Sacramento is strongly influenced by NO sources close to the monitoring sites. This suggests that ozone measurements from monitoring sites close to highways, including two rural locations, may not be representative of the regional abundance, and lead to underestimates of long term exposure for humans and ecosystems.
Abstract: Observations of day-of-week patterns and diurnal profiles of ozone, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides are examined to assess the chemical and dynamical factors governing the daytime ozone accumulation and the distribution of chemically related species in Central California. Isoprene observations show that urban OH concentrations are higher on the weekend whereas rural OH concentrations are lower on the weekend, confirming that NOx concentrations have a direct effect on the rate of photochemical ozone production and that the transition from NOx-saturated (VOC-limited) to NOx-limited chemistry occurs between the city and the downwind rural counties. We quantify the extent to which mixing of ozone and its precursors from aloft contributes to the daytime accumulation of ozone at the surface in Sacramento. Ozone production in the rural Mountain Counties is currently NOx-limited and will decrease in response to NOx emission reductions in the Sacramento Valley. However, NOx emissions reductions of at least 50% (from weekday levels) are necessary to bring about a significant decrease in accumulation of ozone at the surface in the Sacramento Valley. The impact of NOx emission reductions on the frequency of exceeding the federal 8-hour ozone standard at an individual site will depend on the balance between reduced titration and the sign and magnitude of production changes. We further show that HNO3 production, which depends on the product of OH and NO2 mixing ratios, is a constant at high NOx, suggesting that NOx must be reduced below a threshold before nitrate aerosol can be expected to decrease.
Abstract: The most extensive set of free tropospheric ozone measurements ever compiled across midlatitude North America was measured with daily ozonesondes, commercial aircraft and a lidar at 14 sites during July-August 2004. The model estimated stratospheric ozone was subtracted from all profiles, leaving a tropospheric residual ozone. On average the upper troposphere above midlatitude eastern North America contained 15 ppbv more tropospheric residual ozone than the more polluted layer between the surface and 2 km above sea level. Lowest ozone values in the upper troposphere were found above the two upwind sites in California. The upper troposphere above midlatitude eastern North America contained 16 ppbv more tropospheric residual ozone than the upper troposphere above three upwind sites, with the greatest enhancement above Houston, Texas, at 24 ppbv. Upper tropospheric CO measurements above east Texas show no statistically significant enhancement compared to west coast measurements, arguing against a strong influence from fresh surface anthropogenic emissions to the upper troposphere above Texas where the ozone enhancement is greatest. Vertical mixing of ozone from the boundary layer to the upper troposphere can only account for 2 ppbv of the 16 ppbv ozone enhancement above eastern North America; therefore the remaining 14 ppbv must be the result of in situ ozone production. The transport of NOx tracers from North American anthropogenic, biogenic, biomass burning, and lightning emissions was simulated for the upper troposphere of North America with a particle dispersion model. Additional box model calculations suggest the 24 ppbv ozone enhancement above Houston can be produced over a 10 day period from oxidation reactions of lightning NOx and background mixing ratios of CO and CH4. Overall, we estimate that 69–84% (11–13 ppbv) of the 16 ppbv ozone enhancement above eastern North America is due to in situ ozone production from lightning NOx with the remainder due to transport of ozone from the surface or in situ ozone production from other sources of NOx.
Abstract: Recent theoretical and experimental studies of evaporation have suggested that on average, molecules in the higher-energy tail of the Boltzmann distribution are more readily transferred into the vapor during evaporation. To test these conclusions, the evaporative cooling rates of a droplet train of liquid water injected into vacuum have been studied via Raman thermometry. The resulting cooling rates are fit to an evaporative cooling model based on Knudsen's maximum rate of evaporation, in which we explicitly account for surface cooling. We have determined that the value of the evaporation coefficient (γe) of liquid water is 0.62 ± 0.09, confirming that a rate-limiting barrier impedes the evaporation rate. Such insight will facilitate the formulation of a microscopic mechanism for the evaporation of liquid water.
Abstract: It was recently suggested that liquid water primarily comprises hydrogen-bonded rings and chains, as opposed to the traditionally accepted locally tetrahedral structure (Wernet et al. Science 2004, 304, 995). This controversial conclusion was primarily based on comparison between experimental and calculated X-ray absorption spectra (XAS) using computer-generated ice-like 11-molecule clusters. Here we present calculations which conclusively show that when hydrogen-bonding configurations are chosen randomly, the calculated XAS does not reproduce the experimental XAS regardless of the bonding model employed (i.e., rings and chains vs tetrahedral). Furthermore, we also present an analysis of a recently introduced asymmetric water potential (Soper, A. K. J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 2005, 17, S3273), which is representative of the rings and chains structure, and make comparisons with the standard SPC/E potential, which represents the locally tetrahedral structure. We find that the calculated XAS from both potentials is inconsistent with the experimental XAS. However, we also show the calculated electric field distribution from the rings and chains structure is strongly bimodal and highly inconsistent with the experimental Raman spectrum, thus casting serious doubt on the validity of the rings and chains model for liquid water.
Abstract: Using a chemical transport model simulating ozone concentrations in central California, we evaluate the effects of variables associated with future changes in climate and ozone precursor emissions, including (1) increasing temperature; (2) increasing atmospheric water vapor; (3) increasing biogenic VOC emissions due to temperature; (4) projected decreases in anthropogenic NOx, VOC, and CO emissions in California for 2050; and (5) the influence of changing ozone, CO, and methane at the western boundary. Climatic changes expected for temperature, atmospheric water vapor, and biogenic VOC emissions each individually cause a 1–5% increase in the daily peak ozone. Projected reductions in anthropogenic emissions of 10–50% in NOx and 50–70% in VOCs and CO have the greatest single effect, reducing ozone by 8–15% in urban areas. Changes to the chemical boundary conditions lead to ozone increases of 6% in the San Francisco Bay area and along the west coast but only 1–2% inland. Simulations combining climate effects predict that ozone will increase 3–10% in various regions of California. This increase is partly offset by projected future emissions reductions, and a combined climate and emissions simulation yields ozone reductions of 3–9% in the Central Valley and almost no net change in the San Francisco Bay area. We find that different portions of the model domain have widely varying sensitivity to climate parameters. In particular, the San Francisco Bay region is more strongly influenced by temperature changes than inland regions, indicating that air quality in this region may worsen under future climate regimes.
Abstract: We retrieve tropospheric nitrogen dioxide (NO2) columns for May 2004 to April 2005 from the SCIAMACHY satellite instrument to derive top-down emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx = NO + NO2) via inverse modeling with a global chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem). Simulated NO2 vertical profiles used in the retrieval are evaluated with airborne measurements over and downwind of North America (ICARTT); a northern midlatitude lightning source of 1.6 Tg N yr−1 minimizes bias in the retrieval. Retrieved NO2 columns are validated (r2 = 0.60, slope = 0.82) with coincident airborne in situ measurements. The top-down emissions are combined with a priori information from a bottom-up emission inventory with error weighting to achieve an improved a posteriori estimate of the global distribution of surface NOx emissions. Our a posteriori NOx emission inventory for land surface NOx emissions (46.1 Tg N yr−1) is 22% larger than the GEIA-based a priori bottom-up inventory for 1998, a difference that reflects rising anthropogenic emissions, especially from East Asia. A posteriori NOx emissions for East Asia (9.8 Tg N yr−1) exceed those from other continents. The a posteriori inventory improves the GEOS-Chem simulation of NOx, peroxyacetylnitrate, and nitric acid with respect to airborne in situ measurements over and downwind of New York City. The a posteriori is 7% larger than the EDGAR 3.2FT2000 global inventory, 3% larger than the NEI99 inventory for the United States, and 68% larger than a regional inventory for 2000 for eastern Asia. SCIAMACHY NO2 columns over the North Atlantic show a weak plume from lightning NOx.
Abstract: Observations of speciated nitrogen oxides, namely NO2, total peroxy nitrates (ΣPNs), total alkyl nitrates (ΣANs), and HNO3 by thermal dissociation laser induced fluorescence (TD-LIF), and supporting chemical and meteorological measurements at Big Hill (1860 m), a high elevation site in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, are described. From May through October, terrain-driven winds in the region routinely bring air from Sacramento, 100 km southwest of the site, upslope over oak and pine forests to Big Hill during the day, while at night, the site often samples clean, dry air characteristic of the free troposphere. Winter differs mainly in that the meteorology does not favour the buildup of Sacramento's pollution over the Sierra Nevada range, and the urban-influenced air that is seen has been less affected by biogenic VOC emissions, resulting in longer lifetime for NO2 and a predominance of the inorganic forms of nitrogen oxides. Summertime observations at Big Hill can be compared with those from Granite Bay, a Sacramento suburb, and from the University of California's Blodgett Forest Research Station to examine the evolution of nitrogen oxides and ozone within the urban plume. Nitrogen oxide radicals (NO and NO2), which dominate total nitrogen oxides (NOy) at Granite Bay, are rapidly converted into HNO3, ΣPNs, and ΣANs, such that these compounds contribute 29, 30, and 21% respectively to the NOy budget in the plume at Big Hill. Nevertheless, the decreasing concentrations of NO2 as the plume is advected to Big Hill lead to decreases in the production rate of HNO3 and ozone. The data also demonstrate the role that temperature plays in sequestering NO2 into peroxy nitrates, effectively decreasing the rate of ozone production. The important contribution of ΣANs to NOy in the region suggests that they should be considered with regards to export of NOy from the boundary layer. Nocturnal observations of airmasses characteristic of the free troposphere showed lower NOy concentrations, which were dominated by HNO3 with a relatively small contribution from the organic nitrates.
This chapter contains sections titled:IntroductionBasic aspects of fluorescence measurementsThe hydroxyl radicalThe nitrogen oxidesDetection of halogen compoundsFuture directionsFurther reading
Abstract: Nitrogen exchange between the atmosphere and biosphere directly influences atmospheric composition. While much is known about mechanisms of NO and N2O emissions, instrumentation for the study of mechanisms contributing to exchange of other major nitrogen species is quite limited. Here we describe the application of a new technique, thermal dissociation-laser induced fluorescence (TD-LIF), to eddy covariance measurements of the fluxes of NO2, total peroxy acyl and peroxy nitrates, total alkyl and multifunctional alkyl nitrates, and nitric acid. The technique offers the potential for investigating mechanisms of exchange of these species at the canopy scale over timescales from days to years. Examples of flux measurements at a ponderosa pine plantation in the mid-elevation Sierra Nevada Mountains in California are reported and used to evaluate instrument performance.
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Abstract: Oxygen K-edge X-ray absorption spectra (XAS) of aqueous chloride solutions have been measured for Li+, Na+, K+, NH4+, C(NH2)3+, Mg2+, and Ca2+ at 2 and 4 M cation concentrations. Marked changes in the liquid water XAS are observed upon addition of the various monovalent cation chlorides that are nearly independent of the identity of the cation. This indicates that interactions with the dissolved monovalent cations do not significantly perturb the unoccupied molecular orbitals of water molecules in the vicinity of the cations and that water−chloride interactions are primarily responsible for the observed spectral changes. In contrast, the addition of the divalent cations engenders changes unique from the case of the monovalent cations, as well as from each other. Density functional theory calculations suggest that the ion-specific spectral variations arise primarily from direct electronic perturbation of the unoccupied orbitals due to the presence of the ions, probably as a result of differences in charge transfer from the water molecules onto the divalent cations.
Abstract: The release of NO and NO2 from frozen aqueous NaNO3 irradiated at 313 nm was studied using time-resolved spectroscopic techniques. The kinetic behavior of NO and NO2 signals during on-and-off illumination cycles confirms that NO2 is a primary photoproduct evolving from the outermost ice layers and reveals that NO is a secondary species generated deeper in the ice, whence it eventually emerges due to its inertness and larger diffusivity. NO is shown to be more weakly held than NO2 by ice in thermal desorption experiments on preirradiated samples. The partial control of gaseous emissions by mass transfer, and hence by the morphology and metamorphisms of polycrystalline ice, is established by (1) the nonmonotonic temperature dependence of NO and NO2 signals upon stepwise warming under continuous illumination, (2) the fact that the NO, NO2 or NOx (NOx ≡ NO + NO2) amounts released in bright thermograms performed under various heating ramps fail to scale with photon dose, due to irreversible losses in the adsorbed state. Because present NO/NO2 ratios are up to 10-fold smaller than those determined over sunlit snowpacks, we infer that the immediate precursors to NO mostly absorb at λ > λmax (NO3-) ~ 302 nm.
Abstract: The oxygen K edge X-ray absorption spectra of aqueous HCl and NaCl solutions reveal distinct perturbations of the local water molecules by the respective solutes. While the addition of NaCl leads to large spectral changes, the effect of HCl on the observed X-ray absorption spectrum is surprisingly small. Density functional theory calculations suggest that this difference primarily reflects a strong blue shift of the hydrated proton (in either the Eigen (H9O4+) or Zundel (H2O5+) forms) spectrum relative to that of H2O, indicating the tighter binding of electrons in H3O+. This spectral shift counteracts the spectral changes that arise from direct electrostatic perturbation of water molecules in the first solvation shell of Cl-. Consequently, the observed spectral changes effected by HCl addition are minimal compared to those engendered by NaCl. Additionally, these results indicate that the effect of monovalent cations on the nature of the unoccupied orbitals of water molecules in the first solvation shell is negligible, in contrast to the large effects of monovalent anions.
Abstract: The microscopic events engendering liquid water evaporation have received much attention over the last century, but remain incompletely understood. We present measurements of isotope fractionation occurring during free molecular evaporation from liquid microjets and show that the isotope ratios of evaporating molecules exhibit dramatic differences from equilibrium vapor values, strong variations with the solution deuterium mole fraction, and a clear temperature dependence. These results indicate the existence of an energetic barrier to evaporation and that the evaporation coefficient of water is less than unity. These new insights into water evaporation promise to advance our understanding of the processes that control the formation and lifetime of clouds in the atmosphere.
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Abstract: Soil NOx emission from agricultural regions in the western United States has been investigated using satellite observations of NO2 from the SCIAMACHY instrument. We show that the SCIAMACHY observations over a 2 million hectare agricultural region in Montana capture the short intense NOx pulses following fertilizer application and subsequent precipitation and we demonstrate that these variations can be reproduced by tuning the mechanistic parameters in an existing model of soil NOx emissions.
Abstract: The nitrogen K-edge spectra of aqueous proline and diglycine solutions have been measured by total electron yield near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy at neutral and high pH. All observed spectral features have been assigned by comparison to the recently reported spectrum of aqueous glycine and calculated spectra of isolated amino acids and hydrated amino acid clusters. The sharp preedge resonances at 401.3 and 402.6 eV observed in the spectrum of anionic glycine indicate that the nitrogen terminus is in an “acceptor-only” configuration, wherein neither amine proton is involved in hydrogen bonding to the solvent, at high pH. The analogous 1s → σ*NH preedge transitions are absent in the NEXAFS spectrum of anionic proline, implying that the acceptor-only conformation observed in anionic glycine arises from steric shielding induced by free rotation of the amine terminus about the glycine CN bond. Anionic diglycine solutions exhibit a broadened 1s → π*CN resonance at 401.2 eV and a broad shoulder resonance at 403 eV, also suggesting the presence of an acceptor-only species. Although this assignment is not as unambiguous as for glycine, it implies that the nitrogen terminus of most proteins is capable of existing in an acceptor-only conformation at high pH. The NEXAFS spectrum of zwitterionic lysine solution was also measured, exhibiting features similar to those of both anionic and zwitterionic glycine, and leading us to conclude that the α amine group is present in an acceptor-only configuration, while the end of the butylammonium side chain is fully solvated.
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Abstract: The absolute accuracy and long‐term precision of atmospheric measurements hinge on the quality of the instrumentation and calibration standards. To assess the consistency of the ozone (O3) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) standards maintained at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), these standards were compared through the gas‐phase titration of O3 with nitric oxide (NO). NO and O3 were monitored using chemiluminescence and UV absorption, respectively. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was monitored directly by laser‐induced fluorescence and indirectly by catalytic conversion to NO, followed by chemiluminescence. The observed equivalent loss of both NO and O3 and the formation of NO2 in these experiments was within 1% on average over the range of 40–200 nmol mol−1 of NO in excess O3, indicating that these instruments, when calibrated with the NIST O3 and NO standards and the NO2 permeation calibration system, are consistent to within 1% at tropospherically relevant mixing ratios of O3. Experiments conducted at higher initial NO mixing ratios or in excess NO are not in as good agreement. The largest discrepancies are associated with the chemiluminescence measurements. These results indicate the presence of systematic biases under these specific conditions. Prospects for improving these experiments are discussed.
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Abstract: The unique chemical and physical properties of liquid water are a direct result of its highly directional hydrogen-bond (HB) network structure and associated dynamics. However, despite intense experimental and theoretical scrutiny spanning more than four decades, a coherent description of this HB network remains elusive. The essential question of whether continuum or multicomponent (“intact,” “broken bond,” etc.) models best describe the HB interactions in liquid water has engendered particularly intense discussion. Most notably, the temperature dependence of water's Raman spectrum has long been considered to be among the strongest evidence for a multicomponent distribution. Using a combined experimental and theoretical approach, we show here that many of the features of the Raman spectrum that are considered to be hallmarks of a multistate system, including the asymmetric band profile, the isosbestic (temperature invariant) point, and van't Hoff behavior, actually result from a continuous distribution. Furthermore, the excellent agreement between our newly remeasured Raman spectra and our model system further supports the locally tetrahedral description of liquid water, which has recently been called into question [Wernet, P., et al. (2004) Science 304, 995-999].
Abstract: Temperature-programmed NO2 emissions from frozen aqueous NaNO3 solutions irradiated at 313 nm were monitored as function of nitrate concentration and heating rate, H, above −30 ºC. Emissions increase nonmonotonically with temperature, displaying transitions suggestive of underlying metamorphic transformations. Thus, NO2 emissions surge at ca. −8 ºC in frozen [NO3-] > 200 μM samples warmed at H = 0.70 °C min-1 under continuous irradiation, and also in the dark from samples that had been photolyzed at −30 ºC. The amounts of NO2 released in individual thermograms, ΣN, increase less than linearly with [NO3-] for the duration of experiments, revealing the significant loss of photogenerated NO2. The actual ΣN ∝ [NO3-]1/2 dependence (at constant H) is consistent with NO2 hydrolysis: 2NO2 + H2O → NO3- + NO2- + 2H+, overtaking NO2 desorption, even below the eutectic point (−18 ºC for aqueous NaNO3). The increasingly larger NO2 losses detected in longer experiments (at constant [NO3-]) are ascribed to secondary photolysis of trapped NO2. The relevance of present results to the interpretation of polar NO2 measurements is briefly analyzed.
Abstract: During the summer of 2001, NO2, total peroxy nitrates (ΣPNs), total alkyl nitrates (ΣANs), HNO3, volatile organic compounds (VOC), CO2, O3, and meteorological variables were measured at Granite Bay, CA. The diurnal variation in ΣPNs, ΣANs and HNO3 were all strongly correlated with sunlight, indicating both that they are photochemically produced and that they have a lifetime of a few hours at this site. The mixing ratios of ΣANs ranged as high as 2 ppbv. Mixing ratios at night averaged 0.4 ppbv. Odd-oxygen (Ox=O3+NO2) and ΣANs were strongly correlated reflecting both the common chemical source terms and the similar lifetimes of both species. Several approaches to interpreting the simultaneous variations of Ox and ΣANs are described, and used to derive a best estimate of the ΣAN yield from the VOC mixture at this site of 4.2% and an estimate of the range that is consistent with the observations of 3.9–5.8%. A yield of 4.2% implies termination of the HOx catalytic cycle by ΣAN formation once every 24 cycles. Analysis of the HNO3 observations in combination with the ΣAN and O3 measurements suggests that NOx terminations limit the HOx chain length to between 4.7 and 6.3.
Abstract: Measurements of the oxygen K-edge X-ray absorption spectrum (XAS) of aqueous sodium halide solutions demonstrate that ions significantly perturb the electronic structure of adjacent water molecules. The addition of halide salts to water engenders an increase in the preedge intensity and a decrease in the postedge intensity of the XAS, analogous to those observed when increasing the temperature of pure water. The main-edge feature exhibits unique behavior and becomes more intense when salt is added. Density functional theory calculations of the XAS indicate that the observed red shift of the water transitions as a function of salt concentration arises from a strong, direct perturbation of the unoccupied molecular orbitals on water by anions, and does not require significant distortion of the hydrogen bond network beyond the first solvation shell. This contrasts the temperature-dependent spectral variations, which result primarily from intensity changes of specific transitions due to geometric rearrangement of the hydrogen bond network.
Abstract: The carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen K-edge spectra were measured for aqueous solutions of glycine by total electron yield near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (TEY NEXAFS) spectroscopy. The bulk solution pH was systematically varied while maintaining a constant amino acid concentration. Spectra were assigned through comparisons with both previous studies and ab initio computed spectra of isolated glycine molecules and hydrated glycine clusters. Nitrogen K-edge solution spectra recorded at low and moderate pH are nearly identical to those of solid glycine, whereas basic solution spectra strongly resemble those of the gas phase. The carbon 1s → π*C==O transition exhibits a 0.2 eV red shift at high pH due to the deprotonation of the amine terminus. This deprotonation also effects a 1.4 eV red shift in the nitrogen K-edge at high pH. Two sharp preedge features at 401.3 and 402.5 eV are also observed at high pH. These resonances, previously observed in the vapor-phase ISEELS spectrum of glycine, have been reassigned as transitions to σ* bound states. The observation of these peaks indicates that the amine moiety is in an acceptor-only hydrogen bond configuration at high pH. At low pH, the oxygen 1s → π*C==O transition exhibits a 0.25-eV red shift due to the protonation of the carboxylic acid terminus. These spectral differences indicate that the variations in electronic structure observed in the NEXAFS spectra are determined by the internal charge state and hydration environment of the molecule in solution.
Abstract: We report in situ measurements of N2O5, NO2, and O3 in Contra Costa County, California during January 2004. Mixing ratios of N2O5, an intermediate compound in the atmosphere's nocturnal cleansing process, ranged up to 200pmol/mol at night. The highest N2O5 concentrations were correlated with low O3 and high NO2 concentrations. The calculated steady state lifetime for N2O5 ranged from 5 to 30min. The total HNO3 produced by N2O5 hydrolysis over a 14h night was comparable to ambient NO2 concentrations, and is estimated to be a factor of nine bigger than the HNO3 produced during the day.
Abstract: A strong temperature dependence of oxygen K–edge x–ray absorption fine structure features was observed for supercooled and normal liquid water droplets prepared from the breakup of a liquid microjet. Analysis of the data over the temperature range 251 to 288 kelvin (–22° to +15°C) yields a value of 1.5 ± 0.5 kilocalories per mole for the average thermal energy required to effect an observable rearrangement between the fully coordinated (“ice–like”) and distorted (“broken–donor”) local hydrogen-bonding configurations responsible for the pre-edge and post-edge features, respectively. This energy equals the latent heat of melting of ice with hexagonal symmetry (ice Ih) and is consistent with the distribution of hydrogen bond strengths obtained for the “overstructured” ST2 model of water.
Abstract: The influence of narrow optical resonances, which result from trapping of light rays via total internal reflection in water droplets, on the absorption of shortwave (SW) solar radiation has been estimated through high resolution Mie scattering calculations. Our results indicate that these resonances engender an increase in absorption of solar radiation by cloud droplets that is several W/m2 above the linear direct absorption process. Mie scattering calculations performed at the Δx = 0.1 (x = 2πr/λ) resolution typically implemented in cloudy sky radiative transfer models are shown to be insufficient for accurate determination of the attenuation of SW radiation when considered over relatively narrow wavelength ranges, consistent with the recent finding of Nussenzveig . However, for broadband calculations we find positive and negative errors in Mie calculations at Δx = 0.1 nearly cancel resulting in reasonable estimates of SW attenuation.
Abstract: The U.S. Weather Research Program convenes expert working groups on a one-time basis to identify critical research needs in various problem areas. The most recent expert working group was charged to “identify and delineate critical meteorological research issues related to the prediction of air quality.” In this context, “prediction” is denoted as “forecasting” and includes the depiction and communication of the present chemical state of the atmosphere, extrapolation or nowcasting, and numerical prediction and chemical evolution on time scales up to several days. Emphasis is on the meteorological aspects of air quality.
The problem of air quality forecasting is different in many ways from the problem of weather forecasting. The latter typically is focused on prediction of severe, adverse weather conditions, while the meteorology of adverse air quality conditions frequently is associated with benign weather. Boundary layer structure and wind direction are perhaps the two most poorly determined meteorological variables for regional air quality prediction. Meteorological observations are critical to effective air quality prediction, yet meteorological observing systems are designed to support prediction of severe weather, not the subtleties of adverse air quality. Three-dimensional meteorological and chemical observations and advanced data assimilation schemes are essential. In the same way, it is important to develop high-resolution and self-consistent databases for air quality modeling; these databases should include land use, vegetation, terrain elevation, and building morphology information, among others. New work in the area of chemically adaptive grids offers significant promise and should be pursued. The quantification and effective communication of forecast uncertainty are still in their early stages and are very important for decision makers; this also includes the visualization of air quality and meteorological observations and forecasts. Research is also needed to develop effective metrics for the evaluation and verification of air quality forecasts so that users can understand the strengths and weaknesses of various modeling schemes. Last, but not of least importance, is the need to consider the societal impacts of air quality forecasts and the needs that they impose on researchers to develop effective and useful products.
Abstract: Observations of total alkyl nitrates (ΣANs) were obtained using thermal dissociation-laser-induced fluorescence at La Porte, Texas, from 15 August to 15 September 2000, along with an extensive suite of other nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and O3. The ΣAN mixing ratios ranged as high as 5.2 ppbv. The median midday mixing ratio was 1.2 ppbv, and the median nighttime mixing ratio was 0.26 ppbv. These are higher mixing ratios than the sum of individual nitrates in virtually every prior study. The diurnal variation of ΣANs was similar to that of HNO3 and of total peroxy nitrates, with a peak near 1300 local time (LT) indicating a photochemical source. Mixing ratios decreased rapidly in the afternoon, suggesting that ΣAN deposition is nearly as fast as HNO3 deposition. The observed correlation between O3 and ΣANs has a slope that increases from 29 (R2 = 0.73) ΔOx/ΔΣANs at 0900–1200 LT to 41 (R2 = 0.74) ΔOx/ΔΣANs at 1400–1800 LT. We present calculations constrained by the observed hydrocarbons showing that both the mixing ratio of ΣANs and the correlation of ΣANs with O3 are to be expected on the basis of the branching ratios for alkyl nitrate formation in the RO2 + NO reaction.
Abstract: The chemistry of peroxynitric acid (HO2NO2) and methyl peroxynitrate (CH3O2NO2)is predicted to be particularly important in the upper troposphere where temperatures are frequently low enough that these compounds do not rapidly decompose. At temperatures below 240K, we calculate that about 20% of NOy in the mid- and high-latitude upper troposphere is HO2NO2. Under these conditions, the reaction of OH with HO2NO2 is estimated to account for as much as one third of the permanent loss of hydrogen radicals. During the Tropospheric Ozone Production about the Spring Equinox (TOPSE) campaign, we used thermal dissociation laser-induced fluorescence (TD-LIF) to measure the sum of peroxynitrates (&SIgma;PNs≡ HO2NO2+CH3O2NO2+PAN+PPN+...) aboard the NCAR C-130 research aircraft. We infer the sum of HO2NO2 and CH3O2NO2 as the difference between ΣPN measurements and gas chromatographic measurements of the two major peroxy acyl nitrates, peroxy acetyl nitrate (PAN) and peroxy propionyl nitrate (PPN). Comparison with NOy and other nitrogen oxide measurements confirms the importance of HO2NO2 and CH3O2NO2 to the reactive nitrogen budget and shows that current thinking about the chemistry of these species is approximately correct. During the spring high latitude conditions sampled during the TOPSE experiment, the model predictions of the contribution of (HO2NO2+CH3O2NO2) to NOy are highly temperature dependent: on average 30% of NOy at 230K, 15% of NOy at 240K, and <5% of NOy above 250K. The temperature dependence of the inferred concentrations corroborates the contribution of overtone photolysis to the photochemistry of peroxynitric acid. A model that includes IR photolysis (J=1x10-5s-1) agreed with the observed sum of HO2NO2+CH3O2NO2 to better than 35% below 240K where the concentration of these species is largest.
Abstract: We describe a prototype designed for in situ detection of the nitrate radical (NO3) by laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and of N2O5 by thermal dissociation followed by LIF detection of NO3. An inexpensive 36 mW continuous wave multi-mode diode laser at 662 nm is used to excite NO3 in the B̃2E‘(0000) ← X'2Á2(0000) band. Fluorescence is collected from 700 to 750 nm. The prototype has a sensitivity to NO3 of 76 ppt for a 60 s integration with an accuracy of 8%. Although this sensitivity is adequate for studies of N2O5 in many environments, it is much less sensitive (about 300 times) than expected based on a comparison of previously measured photophysical properties of NO2 and NO3. This implies much stronger nonradiative coupling of electronic states in NO3 than in NO2.
Abstract: Variations in the isotopic content (18O/16O and D/H ratios) of water in the natural environment provide a valuable tracer of the present-day global hydrologic cycle and a record of the climate over at least 400,000 years that is preserved in glacial ice. The interpretation of observed isotopic ratios in water vapor, rain, snow, and ice depends on our understanding of the processes (mainly phase changes) that produce isotopic fractionation. Whereas equilibrium isotopic fractionation is well understood, kinetic effects, or diffusion-controlled fractionation, has a limited experimental foundation. Kinetic effects are significant during evaporation into unsaturated air and during condensation to form ice from vapor. Kinetic effects are also thought to control the deuterium excess (d = δD − 8δ18O) of precipitation. We describe experiments to observe kinetic effects associated with evaporation. Analysis of our own and previous experiments shows that surface cooling of the liquid is a crucial variable affecting fractionation from evaporating water that has not been properly considered before. Including the effects of evaporative surface cooling reconciles observed D/H fractionation with kinetic theory and removes the need to invoke an unusual size for the HDO molecule. Thus the isotopic molecular diffusivity ratios are D(H218O)/D(H216O) = 0.9691 and D(HD16O)/D(H216O) = 0.9839. Implications of this work for representation of kinetic fractionation in global circulation models and cloud physics models are briefly discussed.
Abstract: We describe measurements of NO2, total peroxy nitrates (ΣPNs), total alkyl nitrates (ΣANs), and HNO3 using thermal dissociation followed by laser-induced fluorescence detection of NO2 at three continental locations. The ΣAN observations are unique and provide novel constraints on atmospheric photochemistry. At a rural site in California, measurements over a full annual cycle show that ΣANs are routinely 10–20% of NOy. At this rural site, at a suburban site in California and an urban site in Houston, Texas, both the absolute concentration of ΣANs and the fraction of the higher oxides of nitrogen (NOz) represented by ΣANs are greater than or equal to values reported in any prior observations. Although the contrast with prior observations is striking, we show that large abundances of ΣANs are consistent with simple chemical models of tropospheric ozone production and with the few prior comprehensive model studies. We also show that ΣANs are a large part, if not all, of the “missing NOy” reported in many prior experiments and emphasize that the ratios of ΣANs/NOz and of O3/ΣANs are especially useful for evaluating chemical models and comparing observations at different sites.
Abstract:Measurements of NO2 were taken at Cornelia Fort Airpark in Nashville, TN, during the 1999 Southern Oxidant Study using three different techniques: photolysis to NO followed by chemiluminescence (PCL), laser-induced fluorescence (LIF), and differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS). This was an informal comparison of these techniques conducted during the 1999 Southern Oxidant Study. The PCL and LIF instruments were connected to a common manifold that sampled at the top of a 10-m-walkup tower. The DOAS instrument sampled over a 1.37-km-long light path with end points at 2 and 35 m above ground. The range of NO2 mixing ratios measured was 0.75 ppbv to over 60 ppbv and the median value was nearly 3 ppbv. While preliminary data analysis showed overall agreement between the LIF and PCL instruments to within 1% (least squares slope = 0.99; r2 = 0.98), subsequent analysis revealed a discontinuous shift of about 12% in the PCL data, which was confirmed by comparison to the DOAS data. A leak in the PCL inlet system was the likely cause. After adjustment of the affected PCL data, a comparison of all the coincident measurements showed high correlation (r2 > 0.99) and overall agreement to within 5%. Analysis of the ratios of PCL NO2 to LIF NO2 showed that greater than 90% of individual data points agree to within the total combined instrumental uncertainties. However, the comparison over short time periods is more precise than the average over the campaign. We attribute this to the need for improved PCL instrument data reduction procedures. The two in situ instruments were also operated side by side a year later in Houston, TX, with similar results.
Abstract: During the Tropospheric Ozone Production about the Spring Equinox (TOPSE) aircraft program, ozone depletion events (ODEs) in the high latitude surface layer were investigated using lidar and in situ instruments. Flight legs of 100 km or longer distance were flown 32 times at 30 m altitude over a variety of regions north of 58° between early February and late May 2000. ODEs were found on each flight over the Arctic Ocean but their occurrence was rare at more southern latitudes. However, large area events with depletion to over 2 km altitude in one case were found as far south as Baffin Bay and Hudson Bay and as late as 22 May. There is good evidence that these more southern events did not form in situ but were the result of export of ozone-depleted air from the surface layer of the Arctic Ocean. Surprisingly, relatively intact transport of ODEs occurred over distances of 900–2000 km and in some cases over rough terrain. Accumulation of constituents in the frozen surface over the dark winter period cannot be a strong prerequisite of ozone depletion since latitudes south of the Arctic Ocean would also experience a long dark period. Some process unique to the Arctic Ocean surface or its coastal regions remains unidentified for the release of ozone-depleting halogens. There was no correspondence between coarse surface features such as solid ice/snow, open leads, or polynyas with the occurrence of or intensity of ozone depletion over the Arctic or subarctic regions. Depletion events also occurred in the absence of long-range transport of relatively fresh “pollution” within the high latitude surface layer, at least in spring 2000. Direct measurements of halogen radicals were not made. However, the flights do provide detailed information on the vertical structure of the surface layer and, during the constant 30 m altitude legs, measurements of a variety of constituents including hydroxyl and peroxy radicals. A summary of the behavior of these constituents is made. The measurements were consistent with a source of formaldehyde from the snow/ice surface. Median NOx in the surface layer was 15 pptv or less, suggesting that surface emissions were substantially converted to reservoir constituents by 30 m altitude and that ozone production rates were small (0.15–1.5 ppbv/d) at this altitude. Peroxyacetylnitrate (PAN) was by far the major constituent of NOy in the surface layer independent of the ozone mixing ratio.
Abstract: Routine observations of atmospheric NO2 at concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 100 parts per billion are needed for air quality monitoring and for the evaluation of photochemical models. We have designed, constructed, and field tested a relatively inexpensive and specific NO2 sensor using laser-induced fluorescence. The instrument combines a commercial cw external-cavity tunable diode laser (640 nm) and a continuous supersonic expansion. The total package is completely automated, has a modest size of 0.5 m3 and 118 kg, and could be manufactured at competitive prices with the current generation of instruments. The sensitivity of the instrument is 145 parts per trillion by volume min−1 (signal-to-noise ratio of 2), which is more than adequate for monitoring purposes.
Abstract: The capping of stationary source emissions of NOx in 22 states and the District of Columbia is federally mandated by the NOx SIP Call legislation with the intended purpose of reducing downwind O3 concentrations. Monitors for NO, NO2, and the reactive oxides of nitrogen into which these two compounds are converted will record data to evaluate air quality model (AQM) predictions. Guidelines for testing these models indicate the need for semicontinuous measurements as close to real time as possible but no less frequently than once per hour. The measurement uncertainty required for AQM testing must be less than ±20% (±10% for NO2) at mixing ratios of 1 ppbv and higher for NO, individual NOz component compounds, and NOy. This article is a review and discussion of different monitoring methods, some currently used in research and others used for routine monitoring. The performance of these methods is compared with the monitoring guidelines. Recommendations for advancing speciated and total NOy monitoring technology and a listing of demonstrated monitoring approaches are also presented.
Abstract: Tropospheric O3 concentrations are functions of the chain lengths of NOx (NOx ≡ NO + NO2) and HOx (HOx ≡ OH + HO2 + RO2) radical catalytic cycles. For a fixed HOx source at low NOx concentrations, kinetic models indicate the rate of O3 production increases linearly with increases in NOx concentrations (NOx limited). At higher NOx concentrations, kinetic models predict ozone production rates decrease with increasing NOx (NOx saturated). We present observations of NO, NO2, O3, OH, HO2, H2CO, actinic flux, and temperature obtained during the 1999 Southern Oxidant Study from June 15 to July 15, 1999, at Cornelia Fort Airpark, Nashville, Tennessee. The observations are used to evaluate the instantaneous ozone production rate (PO3) as a function of NO abundances and the primary HOx production rate (PHOx). These observations provide quantitative evidence for the response of PO3 to NOx. For high PHOx (0.5 < PHOx < 0.7 ppt/s), O3 production at this site increases linearly with NO to ∼500 ppt. PO3 levels out in the range 500–1000 ppt NO and decreases for NO above 1000 ppt. An analysis along chemical coordinates indicates that models of chemistry controlling peroxy radical abundances, and consequently PO3, have a large error in the rate or product yield of the RO2 + HO2 reaction for the classes of RO2 that predominate in Nashville. Photochemical models and our measurements can be forced into agreement if the product of the branching ratio and rate constant for organic peroxide formation, via RO2 + HO2 → ROOH + O2, is reduced by a factor of 3–12. Alternatively, these peroxides could be rapidly photolyzed under atmospheric conditions making them at best a temporary HOx reservoir. This result implies that O3 production in or near urban areas with similar hydrocarbon reactivity and HOx production rates may be NOx saturated more often than current models suggest.
Abstract: This paper describes a new instrument that uses a combination of thermal dissociation and laser-induced fluorescence detection of NO2 for in situ detection of the sum total peroxy nitrates, the sum total of alkyl nitrates and hydroxyalkyl nitrates, and HNO3. The instrument is capable of routine, continuous in situ measurements of these three classes of compounds that are accurate (15%) with a low detection limit (90 parts per trillion (ppt) 10 s−1, S/N ratio = 2 on a background of 1 ppb NO2 and 30 ppt 10 s−1 on a background of 100 ppt NO2). Theoretical analysis of potential interferences combined with laboratory experiments that test for interferences show that rapidly cooling the gas and dropping the pressure after the thermal dissociation reduces interferences to the order of 1–5%. Observations in ambient air at the University of California Blodgett Forest Research Station demonstrate the capabilities of this instrument under field conditions. These field observations are compared with independent total NOy observations.
Abstract: Measurements of anthropogenic hydrocarbons, ozone, and meteorological variables were obtained during the summer of 1997 near the University of California Blodgett Forest Research Station on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These measurements and related observations obtained upwind in Sacramento and Folsom, California, by the California Air Resources Board and the National Weather Service demonstrate that the transport of the Sacramento plume is controlled by extremely consistent, terrain-driven winds that draw polluted air into the Sierra Nevada by day and flush the mountains at night with clean, continental background air. In effect the plume serves as a mesoscale (100 km) daytime flow reactor where the daily evolution of the Sacramento urban plume can be characterized as a Lagrangian air parcel transported from the urban core into the sparsely populated Sierra Nevada mountains. Using observations of slowly reacting anthropogenic hydrocarbons, we demonstrate that at the peak impact of the Sacramento plume the air at Blodgett Forest can be characterized as a mixture of 32% air from the urban core and 68% from the relatively clean background. From measurements of more reactive hydrocarbons we infer an average daytime OH concentration of 1.1 × 107 molecules cm−3 during the transit of the urban plume.