Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-694
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-694

  10 Sep 2021

10 Sep 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Measurement report: Photochemical production and loss rates of formaldehyde and ozone across Europe

Clara M. Nussbaumer1, John N. Crowley1, Jan Schuladen1, Jonathan Williams1,2, Sascha Hafermann1, Andreas Reiffs1, Raoul Axinte1, Hartwig Harder1, Cheryl Ernest1,a, Anna Novelli1,b, Katrin Sala1, Monica Martinez1, Chinmay Mallik1,c, Laura Tomsche1,d, Christian Plass-Dülmer3, Birger Bohn4, Jos Lelieveld1,2, and Horst Fischer1 Clara M. Nussbaumer et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Department of Atmospheric Chemistry, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • 2Climate and Atmosphere Research Center, The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • 3German Meteorological Service, Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeissenberg (MOHp), 83282 Hohenpeissenberg, Germany
  • 4Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-8: Troposphere, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, 52428 Jülich, Germany
  • anow at: Department of Neurology, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, 55131 Mainz, Germany
  • bnow at: Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-8: Troposphere, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, 52428 Jülich, Germany
  • cnow at: Department of Atmospheric Science, Central University of Rajasthan, Rajasthan 305817, India
  • dnow at: German Aerospace Center, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, 82234 Wessling-Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

Abstract. Various atmospheric sources and sinks regulate the abundance of tropospheric formaldehyde (HCHO) which is an important trace gas impacting the HOx (≡ HO2 + OH) budget and the concentration of ozone (O3). In this study, we present the formation and destruction terms of ambient HCHO and O3 calculated from in-situ observations of various atmospheric trace gases measured at three different sites across Europe during summer time. These include a coastal site in Cyprus in the scope of the Cyprus Photochemistry Experiment (CYPHEX) in 2014, a mountain site in Southern Germany as part of the Hohenpeißenberg Photochemistry Experiment (HOPE) in 2012 and a forested site in Finland where measurements were performed during the Hyytiälä United Measurements of Photochemistry and Particles (HUMPPA) campaign in 2010. We show that at all three sites formaldehyde production from the OH oxidation of methane (CH4), acetaldehyde (CH3CHO), isoprene (C5H8) and methanol (CH3OH) can almost completely balance the observed loss via photolysis, OH oxidation and dry deposition. Ozone chemistry is clearly controlled by nitrogen oxides (NOx ≡ NO + NO2) that includes O3 production from NO2 photolysis and O3 loss via the reaction with NO. Finally, we use the HCHO budget calculations to determine whether net ozone production is limited by the availability of VOCs (VOC limited regime) or NOx (NOx limited regime). At the mountain site in Germany O3 production is VOC limited, whereas it is NOx limited at the coastal site in Cyprus. The forested site in Finland is in the transition regime.

Clara M. Nussbaumer et al.

Status: open (until 22 Oct 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Clara M. Nussbaumer et al.

Clara M. Nussbaumer et al.

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Short summary
HCHO is an important atmospheric trace gas influencing the photochemical processes in the earth’s atmosphere including the budget of HOx and the abundance of tropospheric O3. This research presents photochemical calculations of HCHO and O3 based on three field campaigns across Europe. We show that HCHO production via oxidation of only four VOC precursors, which are CH4, CH3CHO, C5H8 and CH3OH, can well balance the observed loss at all sites.
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