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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-19
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-19
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model description paper 28 Feb 2019

Model description paper | 28 Feb 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Global Simulation of Semivolatile Organic Compounds – Development and Evaluation of the MESSy Submodel SVOC (v1.0)

Mega Octaviani1, Holger Tost2, and Gerhard Lammel1,3 Mega Octaviani et al.
  • 1Multiphase Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • 2Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, 55099 Mainz, Germany
  • 3Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment, Masaryk University, 62500 Brno, Czech Republic

Abstract. The new submodel SVOC for the Modular Earth Submodel System (MESSy) was developed and applied within the ECHAM5/MESSy Atmospheric Chemistry (EMAC) model to simulate the atmospheric cycling and air-surface exchange processes of semivolatile organic pollutants. Our focus is on four polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) of largely varying properties. Some new features in input and physics parameterizations of tracers were tested: emission seasonality, the size discretization of particulate-phase tracers, the application of poly-parameter linear free energy relationships in gas-particle partitioning, and re-volatilization from land and sea surfaces. The results indicate that the predicted global distribution of the 3-ring PAH phenanthrene is sensitive to the seasonality of its emissions, followed by the effects from considering re-volatilization from surfaces. The predicted distributions of the 4-ring PAHs fluoranthene and pyrene, and the 5-ring PAH benzo(a)pyrene are found sensitive to the combinations of factors with their synergistic effects being stronger than the direct effects of the individual factors. The model was validated against observations of PAH concentrations and aerosol particulate mass fraction. The annual mean concentrations are simulated to the right order of magnitude for most cases and the model well captures the species and regional variations. However, large underestimation is found in the ocean. It is found that the particulate mass fraction of the benzo(a)pyrene is well simulated whereas those of other species are lower than observed.

Mega Octaviani et al.
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Mega Octaviani et al.
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Short summary
This work presents a submodel description for the atmospheric cycling and air-surface exchange processes of semivolatile organic compounds. The submodel is meant to be applied within a global atmospheric chemistry-climate model. The simulation results for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons confirm progress in modelling semivolatile species, verified by comparison with surface monitoring data. The significance of new modelling features for tracer distributions was quantified in a sensitivity study.
This work presents a submodel description for the atmospheric cycling and air-surface exchange...
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