Abstract. It has been shown that sunlit snow and ice plays an important role in processing atmospheric species. Photochemical production of a variety of chemicals has recently been reported to occur in snow/ice and the release of these photochemically generated species may significantly impact the chemistry of the overlying atmosphere. Nitrogen oxide and oxidant precursor fluxes have been measured in a number of snow covered environments, where in some cases the emissions significantly impact the overlying boundary layer. For example, photochemical ozone production (such as that occurring in polluted mid-latitudes) of 3-4 ppbv/day has been observed at South Pole, due to high OH and NO levels present in a relatively shallow boundary layer. Field and laboratory experiments have determined that the origin of the observed NO x flux is the photochemistry of nitrate within the snowpack, however some details of the mechanism have not yet been elucidated. A variety of low molecular weight organic compounds have been shown to be emitted from sunlit snowpacks, the source of which has been proposed to be either direct or indirect photo-oxidation of natural organic materials present in the snow. Although myriad studies have observed active processing of species within irradiated snowpacks, the fundamental chemistry occurring remains poorly understood. Here we consider the nature of snow at a fundamental, physical level; photochemical processes within snow and the caveats needed for comparison to atmospheric photochemistry; our current understanding of nitrogen, oxidant, halogen and organic photochemistry within snow; the current limitations faced by the field and implications for the future.
Abstract. The Master Chemical Mechanism has been updated from MCMv3 to MCMv3.1 in order to take into account recent improvements in the understanding of aromatic photo-oxidation. Newly available kinetic and product data from the literature have been incorporated into the mechanism. In particular, the degradation mechanisms for hydroxyarenes have been revised following the observation of high yields of ring-retained products, and product studies of aromatic oxidation under relatively low NO x conditions have provided new information on the branching ratios to first generation products. Experiments have been carried out at the European Photoreactor (EUPHORE) to investigate key subsets of the toluene system. These results have been used to test our understanding of toluene oxidation, and, where possible, refine the degradation mechanisms. The evaluation of MCMv3 and MCMv3.1 using data on benzene, toluene, p-xylene and 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene photosmog systems is described in a companion paper, and significant model shortcomings are identified. Ideas for additional modifications to the mechanisms, and for future experiments to further our knowledge of the details of aromatic photo-oxidation are discussed.
During springtime in the polar regions, unique photochemistry converts inert halide salt ions (e.g. Br⁻) into reactive halogen species (e.g. Br atoms and BrO) that deplete ozone in the boundary layer to near zero levels. Since their discovery in the late 1980s, research on ozone depletion events (ODEs) has made great advances; however many key processes remain poorly understood. In this article we review the history, chemistry, dependence on environmental conditions, and impacts of ODEs. This research has shown the central role of bromine photochemistry, but how salts are transported from the ocean and are oxidized to become reactive halogen species in the air is still not fully understood. Halogens other than bromine (chlorine and iodine) are also activated through incompletely understood mechanisms that are probably coupled to bromine chemistry. The main consequence of halogen activation is chemical destruction of ozone, which removes the primary precursor of atmospheric oxidation, and generation of reactive halogen atoms/oxides that become the primary oxidizing species. The different reactivity of halogens as compared to OH and ozone has broad impacts on atmospheric chemistry, including near complete removal and deposition of mercury, alteration of oxidation fates for organic gases, and export of bromine into the free troposphere. Recent changes in the climate of the Arctic and state of the Arctic sea ice cover are likely to have strong effects on halogen activation and ODEs; however, more research is needed to make meaningful predictions of these changes
Abstract. During springtime in the polar regions, unique photochemistry converts inert halide salts ions (e.g. Br−) into reactive halogen species (e.g. Br atoms and BrO) that deplete ozone in the boundary layer to near zero levels. Since their discovery in the late 1980s, research on ozone depletion events (ODEs) has made great advances; however many key processes remain poorly understood. In this article we review the history, chemistry, dependence on environmental conditions, and impacts of ODEs. This research has shown the central role of bromine photochemistry, but how salts are transported from the ocean and are oxidized to become reactive halogen species in the air is still not fully understood. Halogens other than bromine (chlorine and iodine) are also activated through incompletely understood mechanisms that are probably coupled to bromine chemistry. The main consequence of halogen activation is chemical destruction of ozone, which removes the primary precursor of atmospheric oxidation, and generation of reactive halogen atoms/oxides that become the primary oxidizing species. The different reactivity of halogens as compared to OH and ozone has broad impacts on atmospheric chemistry, including near complete removal and deposition of mercury, alteration of oxidation fates for organic gases, and export of bromine into the free troposphere. Recent changes in the climate of the Arctic and state of the Arctic sea ice cover are likely to have strong effects on halogen activation and ODEs; however, more research is needed to make meaningful predictions of these changes.
Abstract. The lifetime of methane is controlled to a very large extent by the abundance of the OH radical. The tropics are a key region for methane removal, with oxidation in the lower tropical troposphere dominating the global methane removal budget (Bloss et al., 2005). In tropical forested environments where biogenic VOC emissions are high and NO x concentrations are low, OH concentrations are assumed to be low due to rapid reactions with sink species such as isoprene. New, simultaneous measurements of OH concentrations and OH reactivity, k OH , in a Borneo rainforest are reported and show much higher OH than predicted, with mean peak concentrations of ∼2.5×10 6 molecule cm −3 (10 min average) observed around solar noon. Whilst j (O 1 D) and humidity were high, low O 3 concentrations limited the OH production from O 3 photolysis. Measured OH reactivity was very high, peaking at a diurnal average of 29.1±8.5 s −1 , corresponding to an OH lifetime of only 34 ms. To maintain the observed OH concentration given the measured OH reactivity requires a rate of OH production approximately 10 times greater than calculated using all measured OH sources. A test of our current understanding of the chemistry within a tropical rainforest was made using a detailed zero-dimensional model to compare with measurements. The model overpredicted the observed HO 2 concentrations and significantly under-predicted OH concentrations. Inclusion of an additional OH source formed as a recycled product of OH iniCorrespondence to: L. K. Whalley (firstname.lastname@example.org) tiated isoprene oxidation improved the modelled OH agreement but only served to worsen the HO 2 model/measurement agreement. To replicate levels of both OH and HO 2 , a process that recycles HO 2 to OH is required; equivalent to the OH recycling effect of 0.74 ppbv of NO. This recycling step increases OH concentrations by 88 % at noon and has wide implications, leading to much higher predicted OH over tropical forests, with a concomitant reduction in the CH 4 lifetime and increase in the rate of VOC degradation.
Abstract. A one-dimensional chemical transport model has been developed to investigate the vertical gradients of bromine and iodine compounds in the Antarctic coastal boundary layer (BL). The model has been applied to interpret recent year-round observations of iodine and bromine monoxides (IO and BrO) at Halley Station, Antarctica. The model requires an equivalent I atom flux of ~1010 molecule cm−2 s−1 from the snowpack in order to account for the measured IO levels, which are up to 20 ppt during spring. Using the current knowledge of gas-phase iodine chemistry, the model predicts significant gradients in the vertical distribution of iodine species. However, recent ground-based and satellite observations of IO imply that the radical is well-mixed in the Antarctic boundary layer, indicating a longer than expected atmospheric lifetime for the radical. This can be modelled by including photolysis of the higher iodine oxides (I2O2, I2O3, I2O4 and I2O5), and rapid recycling of HOI and INO3 through sea-salt aerosol. The model also predicts significant concentrations (up to 25 ppt) of I2O5 in the lowest 10 m of the boundary layer. Heterogeneous chemistry involving sea-salt aerosol is also necessary to account for the vertical profile of BrO. Iodine chemistry causes a large increase (typically more than 3-fold) in the rate of O3 depletion in the BL, compared with bromine chemistry alone. Rapid entrainment of O3 from the free troposphere appears to be required to account for the observation that on occasion there is little O3 depletion at the surface in the presence of high concentrations of IO and BrO. The halogens also cause significant changes to the vertical profiles of OH and HO2 and the NO2/NO ratio. The average Hg0 lifetime against oxidation is also predicted to be about 10 h during springtime. An important result from the model is that very large fluxes of iodine precursors into the boundary layer are required to account for the observed levels of IO. The mechanisms which cause these emissions are unknown. Overall, our results show that halogens profoundly influence the oxidizing capacity of the Antarctic troposphere.
Abstract. The Tropospheric ORganic CHemistry experiment (TORCH) took place during the heatwave of summer 2003 at Writtle College, a site 2 miles west of Chelmsford in Essex and 25 miles north east of London. The experiment was one of the most highly instrumented to date. A combination of a large number of days of simultaneous, collocated measurements, a consequent wealth of model constraints and a highly detailed chemical mechanism, allowed the atmospheric chemistry of this site to be studied in detail. Between 25 July and 31 August, the concentrations of the hydroxyl radical and the hydroperoxy radical were measured using laser-induced fluorescence at low pressure and the sum of peroxy radicals was measured using the peroxy radical chemical amplifier technique. The concentrations of the radical species were predicted using a zero-dimensional box model based on the Master Chemical Mechanism version 3.1, which was constrained with the observed concentrations of relatively long-lived species. The model included a detailed parameterisation to account for heterogeneous loss of hydroperoxy radicals onto aerosol particles. Quantilequantile plots were used to assess the model performance in respect of the measured radical concentrations. On average, measured hydroxyl radical concentrations were overpredicted by 24%. Modelled and measured hydroperoxy radical concentrations agreed very well, with the model overpredicting on average by only 7%. The sum of peroxy radicals was under-predicted when compared with the respective measurements by 22%. Initiation via OH was dominatedCorrespondence to: N. Carslaw (email@example.com) by the reactions of excited oxygen atoms with water, nitrous acid photolysis and the ozone reaction with alkene species. Photolysis of aldehyde species was the main route for initiation via HO 2 and RO 2 . Termination, under all conditions, primarily involved reactions with NO x for OH and heterogeneous chemistry on aerosol surfaces for HO 2 . The OH chain length varied between 2 and 8 cycles, the longer chain lengths occurring before and after the most polluted part of the campaign. Peak local ozone production of 17 ppb hr −1 occurred on 3 and 5 August, signifying the importance of local chemical processes to ozone production on these days. On the whole, agreement between model and measured radicals is good, giving confidence that our understanding of atmospheres influenced by nearby urban sources is adequate.
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