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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 4, issue 1
Geosci. Model Dev., 4, 183–193, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-4-183-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Geosci. Model Dev., 4, 183–193, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-4-183-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Development and technical paper 14 Mar 2011

Development and technical paper | 14 Mar 2011

Impact of a new condensed toluene mechanism on air quality model predictions in the US

G. Sarwar1, K. W. Appel1, A. G. Carlton1,*, R. Mathur1, K. Schere1, R. Zhang2, and M. A. Majeed3 G. Sarwar et al.
  • 1Atmospheric Modeling and Analysis Division, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, RTP, NC 27711, USA
  • 2Department of Mathematics, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
  • 3Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control, New Castle, DE, USA
  • *now at: Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA

Abstract. A new condensed toluene mechanism is incorporated into the Community Multiscale Air Quality Modeling system. Model simulations are performed using the CB05 chemical mechanism containing the existing (base) and the new toluene mechanism for the western and eastern US for a summer month. With current estimates of tropospheric emission burden, the new toluene mechanism increases monthly mean daily maximum 8-h ozone by 1.0–3.0 ppbv in Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Cleveland, northeastern US, and Detroit compared to that with the base toluene chemistry. It reduces model mean bias for ozone at elevated observed ozone concentrations. While the new mechanism increases predicted ozone, it does not enhance ozone production efficiency. A sensitivity study suggests that it can further enhance ozone if elevated toluene emissions are present. While it increases in-cloud secondary organic aerosol substantially, its impact on total fine particle mass concentration is small.

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