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Volume 16, issue 11 | Copyright

Special issue: The Modular Earth Submodel System (MESSy) (ACP/GMD inter-journal...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 6931-6947, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-6931-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 07 Jun 2016

Research article | 07 Jun 2016

Global atmospheric budget of simple monocyclic aromatic compounds

David Cabrera-Perez1, Domenico Taraborrelli1,a, Rolf Sander1, and Andrea Pozzer1 David Cabrera-Perez et al.
  • 1Atmospheric Chemistry Department, Max-Planck Institute of Chemistry, Hahn-Meitner-Weg 1, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • anow at: Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK-8), Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany

Abstract. The global atmospheric budget and distribution of monocyclic aromatic compounds is estimated, using an atmospheric chemistry general circulation model. Simulation results are evaluated with an ensemble of surface and aircraft observations with the goal of understanding emission, production and removal of these compounds.

Anthropogenic emissions provided by the RCP database represent the largest source of aromatics in the model (≃23TgCyear−1) and biomass burning from the GFAS inventory the second largest (≃5TgCyear−1). The simulated chemical production of aromatics accounts for  ≃5TgCyear−1. The atmospheric burden of aromatics sums up to 0.3TgC. The main removal process of aromatics is photochemical decomposition (≃27TgCyear−1), while wet and dry deposition are responsible for a removal of  ≃4TgCyear−1.

Simulated mixing ratios at the surface and elsewhere in the troposphere show good spatial and temporal agreement with the observations for benzene, although the model generally underestimates mixing ratios. Toluene is generally well reproduced by the model at the surface, but mixing ratios in the free troposphere are underestimated. Finally, larger discrepancies are found for xylenes: surface mixing ratios are not only overestimated but also a low temporal correlation is found with respect to in situ observations.

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The global atmospheric budget and distribution of monocyclic aromatic compounds is estimated, using an atmospheric chemistry general circulation model. Simulation results are evaluated with observations with the goal of understanding emission, production and removal of these compounds. Anthropogenic and biomass burning are the main sources of aromatic compounds to the atmosphere. The main sink is photochemical decomposition and in lesser importance dry deposition.
The global atmospheric budget and distribution of monocyclic aromatic compounds is estimated,...
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