Peroxy acetyl nitrate (PAN) measurements at northern midlatitude mountain sites in April: a constraint on continental source--receptor relationships

Fiore, A. M. and Fischer, E. V. and Milly, G. P. and Pandey Deolal, S. and Wild, O. and Jaffe, Daniel A. and Staehelin, J. and Clifton, O. E. and Bergmann, Daniel and Collins, W. and Dentener, F. J. and Doherty, R. M. and Duncan, Bryan N. and Fischer, Bernd M. and Gilge, S. and Hess, P. G. and Horowitz, L. W. and Lupu, A. and MacKenzie, I. A. and Park, Rokjin J. and Ries, L. and Sanderson, Michael G. and Schultz, M. G. and Shindell, D. T. and Steinbacher, M. and Stevenson, D. S. and Szopa, Sophie and Zellweger, C. and Zeng, Guang (2018) Peroxy acetyl nitrate (PAN) measurements at northern midlatitude mountain sites in April: a constraint on continental source--receptor relationships. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18 (20). pp. 15345-15361. ISSN 1680-7316

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Abstract

Abundance-based model evaluations with observations provide critical tests for the simulated mean state in models of intercontinental pollution transport, and under certain conditions may also offer constraints on model responses to emission changes. We compile multiyear measurements of peroxy acetyl nitrate (PAN) available from five mountain-top sites and apply them in a proof-of-concept approach that exploits an ensemble of global chemical transport models (HTAP1) to identify an observational “emergent constraint”. In April, when the signal from anthropogenic emissions on PAN is strongest, simulated PAN at northern midlatitude mountaintops correlates strongly with PAN source–receptor relationships (the response to 20% reductions in precursor emissions within northern midlatitude continents; hereafter, SRRs). This finding implies that PAN measurements can provide constraints on PAN SRRs by limiting the SRR range to that spanned by the subset of models simulating PAN within the observed range. In some cases, regional anthropogenic volatile organic compound (AVOC) emissions, tracers of transport from different source regions, and SRRs for ozone also correlate with PAN SRRs. Given the large observed interannual variability in the limited available datasets, establishing strong constraints will require matching meteorology in the models to the PAN measurements. Application of this evaluation approach to the chemistry–climate models used to project changes in atmospheric composition will require routine, long-term mountaintop PAN measurements to discern both the climatological SRR signal and its interannual variability.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900/1902
Subjects:
ID Code:
128576
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
26 Oct 2018 08:22
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
23 Sep 2020 04:45