A national inventory of biogenic hydrocarbon emissions

Brian Lamb, Alex Guenther, David Gay, Hal Westberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emission rate vs temperature algorithms for different vegetation types, including deciduous, coniferous and agricultural sources, were used with available biomass and land use data for the U.S. to develop a national emission inventory with county spatial and monthly temporal scales. The estimated total NMHC emission rate from the U.S. is 30.7 Mt annually; more than half of these emissions occur in the summer, and approximately half arise in the SE and SW U.S. Total emission rates of isoprene from deciduous forest and α-pinene from deciduous and coniferous forests are 4.9 and 6.6 Mt annually. Emissions from agricultural crops contribute less than 3 % of the annual total. The average flux of biogenic NMHC in the U.S. is estimated to be 450 μgm-2h-1which is 20 times less than reported emissions of anthropogenic NMHC averaged over urban land areas in the U.S. Geochemical NMHC emissions from hydrocarbon rich soils in the U.S. are estimated to be negligible compared to vegetative sources. The uncertainty in the inventory is estimated to be on the order of a factor of three.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1695-1705
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Environment (1967)
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Biogenic
  • emission inventory
  • hydrocarbons
  • isoprene
  • natural sources
  • vegetation
  • α-pinene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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