Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Department of Air Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
Abstract. Primary biological aerosol particles (PBAPs) may impact human health and aerosol-climate interactions. The role of PBAPs in the earth system is associated with large uncertainties, related to source estimates and atmospheric transport. We used a chemistry-climate model to simulate PBAPs in the atmosphere including bacteria, fungal spores and pollen. Three fungal spore emission parameterizations have been evaluated against an updated set of spore counts synthesized from observations reported in the literature. The comparison indicates an optimal fit for the emission parameterization proposed by Heald and Spracklen (2009), although the model significantly over-predicts PBAP concentrations in some locations. Additional evaluation was performed by comparing our combined bacteria and fungal spore simulations to a global dataset of fluorescent biological aerosol particle (FBAP) concentrations. The model predicts the sum total of measured PBAP concentrations relatively well, with an over- or under-prediction of less than a factor of 2 compared to FBAP. The ratio of bacteria to fungal spores reflects a greater difference, however, and the simulated bacteria concentrations outnumber the simulated fungal spore concentrations in almost all locations. Further, the modeled fungal spore results under-predict the FBAP concentrations, which are used here as a rough proxy for spores. Uncertainties related to technical aspects of the FBAP and direct-counting spore measurements challenge the ability to further refine quantitative comparison on this scale. We estimate that the global PBAPs mass concentration (apart from desert dust and sea salt aerosols), i.e. of fungal spores and pollen, amounts to 19 % and 52 % of the total aerosol mass, respectively.
How to cite. Tanarhte, M., Bacer, S., Burrows, S. M., Huffman, J. A., Pierce, K. M., Pozzer, A., Sarda-Estève, R., Savage, N. J., and Lelieveld, J.: Global modeling of primary biological particle concentrations with the
EMAC chemistry-climate model, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-361, 2018.
Received: 06 Apr 2018 – Discussion started: 08 May 2018