12 Jul 2022
12 Jul 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Minor contributions of daytime monoterpenes are major contributors to atmospheric reactivity

Deborah F. McGlynn1, Graham Frazier1, Laura E. R. Barry2, Manuel T. Lerdau2,3, Sally E. Pusede2, and Gabriel Isaacman-VanWertz1 Deborah F. McGlynn et al.
  • 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, USA
  • 2Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 22904, USA
  • 3Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 22904, USA

Abstract. Emissions from natural sources are driven by various external stimuli such as sunlight, temperature, and soil moisture. Once biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are emitted into the atmosphere, they rapidly react with atmospheric oxidants, which has significant impacts on ozone and aerosol budgets. However, diurnal, seasonal, and interannual variability of these species are poorly captured in emissions models due to a lack of long-term, chemically speciated measurements. Therefore, increasing the monitoring of these emissions will improve the modeling of ozone and secondary organic aerosol concentrations. Using two years of speciated hourly BVOC data collected at the Virginia Forest Lab (VFL), in Fluvanna County, Virginia, we examine how minor changes in the composition of monoterpenes between seasons are found to have profound impacts on ozone and OH reactivity. The concentration of a range of BVOCs in the summer were found to have two different diurnal profiles, which we demonstrate appear to be driven by light-dependent versus -independent emissions. Factor analysis was used to separate the two observed diurnal profiles and determine the contribution from each driver. Highly reactive BVOCs were found to have a large influence on atmospheric reactivity in the summer, particularly during the daytime. These findings reveal a need to monitor species with high atmospheric reactivity but have low concentrations and to more accurately capture their emission trends in models.

Deborah F. McGlynn et al.

Status: open (until 23 Aug 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2022-141', Anonymous Referee #1, 26 Jul 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2022-141', Anonymous Referee #2, 12 Aug 2022 reply

Deborah F. McGlynn et al.

Data sets

In-Canopy Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds Mixing Ratios at the Virginia Forest Lab Deborah F. McGlynn, Gabriel Isaacman-VanWertz

Deborah F. McGlynn et al.


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Short summary
Using a custom-made gas chromatography flame ionization detector, two years of speciated hourly biogenic volatile organic compound data was collected in a forest in central Virginia. The work identifies diurnal and seasonal variability in the data, which is shown to have impacts on atmospheric oxidant budgets. Comparison to emission models identified discrepancies with implications for model outcomes. We suggest increased monitoring of speciated BVOCs to improve modeled results.