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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-135
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-135
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  02 Mar 2020

02 Mar 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

Measurements of carbonyl compounds around the Arabian Peninsula indicate large missing sources of acetaldehyde

Nijing Wang1, Achim Edtbauer1, Christof Stönner1, Andrea Pozzer1, Efstratios Bourtsoukidis1, Lisa Ernle1, Dirk Dienhart1, Bettina Hottmann1, Horst Fischer1, Jan Schuladen1, John N. Crowley1, Jean-Daniel Paris2, Jos Lelieveld1,3, and Jonathan Williams1,3 Nijing Wang et al.
  • 1Air Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Hahn-Meitner-Weg 1, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • 2Laboratoire des Sciences du Climatet de l'Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 3Energy, Environment and Water Research Center, The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus

Abstract. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured around the Arabian Peninsula using a research vessel during the AQABA campaign (Air Quality and Climate Change in the Arabian Basin) from June to August 2017. In this study we examine carbonyl compounds (CxHyO), measured by a proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-ToF-MS), and present both a regional concentration distribution and a budget assessment for these key atmospheric species. Among the aliphatic carbonyls, acetone had the highest mixing ratios in most of the regions traversed, varying from 0.43 ppb over the Arabian Sea to 4.5 ppb over the Arabian Gulf, followed by formaldehyde (measured by Hantzsch monitor, 0.82 ppb over the Arabian Sea and 3.8 ppb over the Arabian Gulf) and acetaldehyde (0.16 ppb over the Arabian Sea and 1.7 ppb over the Arabian Gulf). Unsaturated carbonyls (C4–C9) varied from 10 to 700 ppt during the campaign, and followed similar regional mixing ratio dependence as aliphatic carbonyls, which were identified as oxidation products of cycloalkanes over polluted areas. An empirical method based on hydrocarbon ratios was applied to investigate the photochemical source strength of the aliphatic carbonyls. While the distribution and relative concentration enhancements of the C3–C8 aliphatic carbonyls could be explained by this method, that of acetaldehyde could not. A smaller but still significant discrepancy was found when comparing measurements to global chemistry-transport model (EMAC) results, with the model underestimating the measured acetaldehyde mixing ratio up to an order of magnitude. Implementing a photolytically driven marine source of acetaldehyde significantly improved the agreement between measurements and model, particularly over the remote regions (e.g. Arabian Sea). However, the newly introduced acetaldehyde source was still insufficient to describe the observations over the most polluted regions (Arabian Gulf and Suez), where model underestimation of primary emissions and biomass burning events are possible reasons.

Nijing Wang et al.

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Nijing Wang et al.

Nijing Wang et al.

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Latest update: 11 Aug 2020
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Short summary
Carbonyl compounds were measured on a ship travelling around the Arabian Peninsula in summer 2017, crossing both highly polluted and extremely clean regions of the marine boundary layer. We investigated the sources and sinks of carbonyls. The results from an empirical and a global model both showed a significant model underestimation for acetaldehyde, a molecule that can influence regional air chemistry. By adding a diurnal oceanic source, the model estimation was highly improved.
Carbonyl compounds were measured on a ship travelling around the Arabian Peninsula in summer...
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