Modeling of global biogenic emissions for key indirect greenhouse gases and their response to atmospheric CO2 increases and changes in land cover and climate

Zhining Tao, Atul K. Jain

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Natural emissions of nonmethane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) play a crucial role in the oxidation capacity of the lower atmosphere and changes in concentrations of major greenhouse gases (GHGs), particularly methane and tropospheric ozone. In this study, we integrate a global biogenic model within a terrestrial ecosystem model to investigate the vegetation and soil emissions of key indirect GHGs, e.g., isoprene, monoterpene, other NMVOCs (OVOC), CO, and NOx. The combination of a high-resolution terrestrial ecosystem model with satellite data allows investigation of the potential changes in net primary productivity (NPP) and resultant biogenic emissions of indirect GHGs due to atmospheric CO2 increases and changes in climate and land use practices. Estimated global total annual vegetation emissions for isoprene, monoterpene, OVOC, and CO are 601, 103, 102, and 73 Tg C, respectively. Estimated NOx emissions from soils are 7.51 Tg N. The land cover changes for croplands generally lead to a decline of vegetation emissions for isoprene OVOC, whereas temperature and atmospheric CO2 increases lead to higher vegetation emissions. The modeled global mean isoprene emissions show relatively large seasonal variations over the previous 20 years from 1981 to 2000 (as much as 31% from year to year). Savanna and boreal forests show large seasonal variations, whereas tropical forests with high plant productivity throughout the year show small seasonal variations. Results of biogenic emissions from 1981 to 2000 indicate that the CO2 fertilization effect, along with changes in climate and land use, causes the overall up-trend in isoprene and OVOC emissions over the past 2 decades. This relationship suggests that future emission scenario estimations for NMVOCs should account for effects of CO2 and climate in order to more accurately estimate local, regional, and global chemical composition of the atmosphere, the global carbon budget, and radiation balance of the Earth-atmosphere system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberD21309
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 16 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 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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