Articles | Volume 14, issue 2
Research article
28 Jan 2014
Research article |  | 28 Jan 2014

Influence of future climate and cropland expansion on isoprene emissions and tropospheric ozone

O. J. Squire, A. T. Archibald, N. L. Abraham, D. J. Beerling, C. N. Hewitt, J. Lathière, R. C. Pike, P. J. Telford, and J. A. Pyle

Abstract. Over the 21st century, changes in CO2 levels, climate and land use are expected to alter the global distribution of vegetation, leading to changes in trace gas emissions from plants, including, importantly, the emissions of isoprene. This, combined with changes in anthropogenic emissions, has the potential to impact tropospheric ozone levels, which above a certain level are harmful to animals and vegetation. In this study we use a biogenic emissions model following the empirical parameterisation of the MEGAN model, with vegetation distributions calculated by the Sheffield Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (SDGVM) to explore a range of potential future (2095) changes in isoprene emissions caused by changes in climate (including natural land use changes), land use, and the inhibition of isoprene emissions by CO2. From the present-day (2000) value of 467 Tg C yr−1, we find that the combined impact of these factors could cause a net decrease in isoprene emissions of 259 Tg C yr−1 (55%) with individual contributions of +78 Tg C yr−1 (climate change), −190 Tg C yr−1 (land use) and −147 Tg C yr−1 (CO2 inhibition). Using these isoprene emissions and changes in anthropogenic emissions, a series of integrations is conducted with the UM-UKCA chemistry-climate model with the aim of examining changes in ozone over the 21st century. Globally, all combined future changes cause a decrease in the tropospheric ozone burden of 27 Tg (7%) from 379 Tg in the present-day. At the surface, decreases in ozone of 6–10 ppb are calculated over the oceans and developed northern hemispheric regions, due to reduced NOx transport by PAN and reductions in NOx emissions in these areas respectively. Increases of 4–6 ppb are calculated in the continental tropics due to cropland expansion in these regions, increased CO2 inhibition of isoprene emissions, and higher temperatures due to climate change. These effects outweigh the decreases in tropical ozone caused by increased tropical isoprene emissions with climate change. Our land use change scenario consists of cropland expansion, which is most pronounced in the tropics. The tropics are also where land use change causes the greatest increases in ozone. As such there is potential for increased crop exposure to harmful levels of ozone. However, we find that these ozone increases are still not large enough to raise ozone to such damaging levels.

Final-revised paper