On the formation of biogenic secondary organic aerosol in chemical transport models: an evaluation of the WRF-CHIMERE (v2020r2) model with a focus over the Finnish boreal forest

Giancarlo Ciarelli, Sara Tahvonen, Arineh Cholakian, Manuel Bettineschi, Bruno Vitali, Tuukka Petäjä, Federico Bianchi

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


We present an evaluation of the regional chemical transport model (CTM) WRF-CHIMERE (v2020r2) for the formation of biogenic secondary organic aerosol (BSOA) with a focus over the Finnish boreal forest. Formation processes of biogenic aerosols are still affected by different sources of uncertainties, and model predictions vary greatly depending on the levels of details of the adopted chemical and emissions schemes. In this study, air quality simulations were conducted for the summer of 2019 using different organic aerosol (OA) schemes (as currently available in the literature) to treat the formation of BSOA. First, we performed a set of simulations in the framework of the volatility basis set (VBS) scheme carrying different assumptions for the treatment of the aging processes of BSOA. The results of the model were compared against high-resolution (i.e., 1 h) organic aerosol mass and size distribution measurements performed at the Station for Measuring Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations (SMEAR-II) site located in Hyytiälä, in addition to other gas-phase species such as ozone (O3), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) measurements of isoprene (C5H10) and monoterpenes. We show that WRF-CHIMERE could reproduce well the diurnal variation of the measured OA concentrations for all the investigated scenarios (along with the standard meteorological parameters) as well as the increase in concentrations during specific heat wave episodes. However, the modeled OA concentrations varied greatly between the schemes used to describe the aging processes of BSOA, as also confirmed by an additional evaluation using organic carbon (OC) measurement data retrieved from the EBAS European databases. Comparisons with isoprene and monoterpene air concentrations revealed that the model captured the observed monoterpene concentrations, but isoprene was largely overestimated, a feature that was mainly attributed to the overstated biogenic emissions of isoprene. We investigated the potential consequences of such an overestimation by inhibiting isoprene emissions from the modeling system. Results indicated that the modeled BSOA concentrations increased in the northern regions of the domain (e.g., Finland) compared to southern European countries, possibly due to a shift in the reactions of monoterpene compounds against available radicals, as further suggested by the reduction in α-pinene modeled air concentrations. Finally, we briefly analyze the differences in the modeled cloud liquid water content (clwc) among the simulations carrying different chemical schemes for the treatment of the aging processes of BSOA. The results of the model indicated an increase in clwc values at the SMEAR-II site, for simulations with higher biogenic organic aerosol loads, most likely as a result of the increased number of biogenic aerosol particles capable of activating cloud droplets.

LehtiGeoscientific Model Development
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 24 tammik. 2024
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu


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