Articles | Volume 13, issue 18
Research article
16 Sep 2013
Research article |  | 16 Sep 2013

A global model study of the impact of land-use change in Borneo on atmospheric composition

N. J. Warwick, A. T. Archibald, K. Ashworth, J. Dorsey, P. M. Edwards, D. E. Heard, B. Langford, J. Lee, P. K. Misztal, L. K. Whalley, and J. A. Pyle

Abstract. In this study, a high resolution version of the Cambridge p-TOMCAT chemical transport model is used, along with measurement data from the 2008 NERC-funded Oxidant and Particle Photochemical Processes (OP3) project, to examine the potential impact of the expansion of oil palm in Borneo on atmospheric composition. Several model emission scenarios are run for the OP3 measurement period, incorporating emissions from both global datasets and local flux measurements. Using the OP3 observed isoprene fluxes and OH recycling chemistry in p-TOMCAT substantially improves the comparison between modelled and observed isoprene and OH concentrations relative to using MEGAN isoprene emissions without OH recycling. However, a similar improvement was also achieved without using HOx recycling, by fixing boundary layer isoprene concentrations over Borneo to follow the OP3 observations. An extreme hypothetical future scenario, in which all of Borneo is converted to oil palm plantation, assessed the sensitivity of the model to changes in isoprene and NOx emissions associated with land-use change. This scenario suggested a 70% upper limit on surface ozone increases resulting from land-use change on Borneo, excluding the impact of future changes in emissions elsewhere. Although the largest changes in this scenario occurred directly over Borneo, the model also calculated notable regional changes of O3, OH and other species downwind of Borneo and in the free troposphere.

Final-revised paper