Potential significance of photoexcited NO2 on global air quality with the NMMB/BSC chemical transport model

O. Jorba, D. Dabdub, C. Blaszczak-Boxe, C. Pérez, Z. Janjic, J. M. Baldasano, M. Spada, A. Badia, M. Gonçalves

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Abstract

Atmospheric chemists have recently focused on the relevance of the NO 2* + H2O → OH + HONO reaction to local air quality. This chemistry has been considered not relevant for the troposphere from known reaction rates until nowadays. New experiments suggested a rate constant of 1.7 × 10-13 cm3 molecule-1 s-1, which is an order of magnitude faster than the previously estimated upper limit of 1.2 × 10-14 cm3 molecule-1 s-1, determined by Crowley and Carl (1997). Using the new global model, NMMB/BSC Chemical Transport Model (NMMB/BSC-CTM), simulations are presented that assess the potential significance of this chemistry on global air quality. Results show that if the NO2* chemistry is considered following the upper limit kinetics recommended by Crowley and Carl (1997), it produces an enhancement of ozone surface concentrations of 4-6 ppbv in rural areas and 6-15 ppbv in urban locations, reaching a maximum enhancement of 30 ppbv in eastern Asia. Moreover, NO 2 enhancements are minor (<0.01 ppbv) in background regions and reach maximum daytime values of 1-6 ppbv. Similarly, HONO exhibits negligible increases, 8-9 pptv in urban settings. Enhancements in the concentration of OH are around 14-17 × 105 molec cm-3. Decreases in the concentration of O3 and its precursors are also identified but to a lesser degree. In order to quantify the role of the two kinetic rates measured, model simulations are compared after incorporating both reaction rate constants. Maximum O3 difference enhancements from 5 to 10 ppbv are modeled over locations where high NOx emissions are present; however, differences are small in most parts of the globe. 2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberD13301
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Volume117
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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