Modelling terrestrial biogenic isoprene fluxes and their potential impact on global chemical species using a coupled LSM-CTM model

K. Y. Wang, D. E. Shallcross

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In this paper we investigate the important role of the biogenic species isoprene on tropospheric chemistry using a land surface model (LSM) and a three-dimensional (3-D) tropospheric chemistry transport model (CTM). An efficient and conservative coupling scheme is used to couple the LSM to the 3-D CTM. Annual integrations of the coupled model have been performed and the results compared with other estimates. The comparison shows that the annual global isoprene flux from terrestrial vegetation is 530 Tg C yr-1, which is in good agreement with 503 Tg C yr-1 estimated by a high-resolution (0.5°×0.5°) vegetation model of Guenther et al. Comparison of the seasonal variations of the surface emission distribution between the coupled model and Guenther et al. (1995) also shows close agreement. The potential impact of isoprene on the levels of tropospheric species is studied by running the same coupled model for the period of June-December but without biogenic isoprene emissions included, and the results are compared with the run which includes biogenic isoprene emissions. Our comparison indicates a significant difference in O3 and PAN for both hemispheres. The discrepancy between the run with and without isoprene is predominantly governed by the spatial and temporal variations of terrestrial vegetation. The largest difference is seen in the summertime northern hemisphere at locations with extensive terrestrial vegetation (e.g. North America, Europe, east and southeast Asia, South America and equatorial central Africa). For O3, there is about a 4 ppbv increase over the oceanic areas and about an 8-12 ppbv increase over the mid-latitude land areas. For PAN, a maximum of about one order of magnitude in difference, which increases from 0.01 ppbv (without isoprene emissions) to 0.1-0.3 ppbv (with isoprene emissions), is seen in areas of extensive terrestrial vegetation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2909-2925
Number of pages17
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2000


  • Coupling scheme
  • CTM
  • Isoprene
  • Land surface model
  • VOCs


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