Special Issue "Biogenic Emissions to the Atmosphere"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Biosphere/Hydrosphere/Land - Atmosphere Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Karena McKinney

Department of Chemistry, Colby College, Waterville, Maine, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biogenic volatile organic compounds; biosphere-atmosphere exchange; atmospheric oxidation processes; field measurements of atmospheric composition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biogenic emissions profoundly shape the composition and reactivity of the atmosphere. The scale, diversity, and global distribution of biogenic sources ensures this continues to be true even as human influences contribute significantly to total emissions and deeply alter the balance of natural processes. A detailed knowledge of the nature of these emissions, their role in atmospheric chemistry, and their interactions with anthropogenic pollutants and processes is essential to a quantitative assessment of ongoing atmospheric change, accurate predictions of future conditions, and mitigation of associated risk.

Sources of biogenic emissions include plant, animal, and microbial sources of gases, particles, and microbes or other bio-particles (fungal spores, bacteria, viruses, and pollen.) Perhaps the broadest category of biogenic emissions is the large and diverse group of reactive volatile organic compounds, mainly emitted by terrestrial plants. Other key species include nitrogen oxides from microbial processes in soils, methane and ammonia from animal sources and wetlands, and dimethyl sulfide and other sulfur gases from marine phytoplankton and other marine and terrestrial organisms. Emission and atmospheric degradation of these species, and interactions between them, are primary factors controlling the balance of atmospheric oxidants and aerosol. Anthropogenic emissions of nitrogen oxides, organics, and sulfur compounds, among others, interact with natural emissions in complex ways to shift this balance, leading to changes in air quality, radiative forcing, and cloud formation and characteristics, which in turn shape regional and global climate. At the same time, environmental conditions such as radiation, temperature, and moisture levels are among the major drivers of emissions. Hence, important but little understood feedbacks closely link emissions and climate.

A quantitative predictive understanding of these processes requires detailed information on emitted compounds and particles, the processes that control their emission rates, and their subsequent transformations. Yet many knowledge gaps still exist. Specific areas of uncertainty where additional research is needed include: (1) development of global, quantitative, spatially resolved emission inventories, including identification of emitted species, their emission rates, and how these vary with space and time; (2) characterization of emission mechanisms and drivers; (3) assessment of long-term trends in emissions and their responses to rapidly changing environmental conditions; (4) investigation of the atmospheric transformations and effects of biogenic emissions; and (5) investigation of the feedbacks between biogenic emissions and climate. A full grasp of these processes requires investigation and integration of information across methods and scales, including laboratory, in situ, and remote sensing measurements and models—from the level of individual plants, soils, or microbes, to the ecosystem, regional, and global scales. While biogenic emission sources are globally distributed, special focus is needed in little-studied regions of intense biogenic emissions such as the tropics, which in many cases are also undergoing rapid economic development. Manuscripts that address one or more of these issues are invited for this Special Issue.

Dr. Karena McKinney
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Biogenic Aerosol in the Arctic from Eight Years of MSA Data from Ny Ålesund (Svalbard Islands) and Thule (Greenland)
Atmosphere 2019, 10(7), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10070349
Received: 19 April 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 22 June 2019 / Published: 26 June 2019
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Abstract
In remote marine areas, biogenic productivity and atmospheric particulate are coupled through dimethylsulfide (DMS) emission by phytoplankton. Once in the atmosphere, the gaseous DMS is oxidized to produce H2SO4 and methanesulfonic acid (MSA); both species can affect the formation of [...] Read more.
In remote marine areas, biogenic productivity and atmospheric particulate are coupled through dimethylsulfide (DMS) emission by phytoplankton. Once in the atmosphere, the gaseous DMS is oxidized to produce H2SO4 and methanesulfonic acid (MSA); both species can affect the formation of cloud condensation nuclei. This study analyses eight years of biogenic aerosol evolution and variability at two Arctic sites: Thule (76.5° N, 68.8° W) and Ny Ålesund (78.9° N, 11.9° E). Sea ice plays a key role in determining the MSA concentration in polar regions. At the beginning of the melting season, in April, up to June, the biogenic aerosol concentration appears inversely correlated with sea ice extent and area, and positively correlated with the extent of the ice-free area in the marginal ice zone (IF-MIZ). The upper ocean stratification induced by sea ice melting might have a role in these correlations, since the springtime formation of this surface layer regulates the accumulation of phytoplankton and nutrients, allowing the DMS to escape from the sea to the atmosphere. The multiyear analysis reveals a progressive decrease in MSA concentration in May at Thule and an increase in July August at Ny Ålesund. Therefore, while the MSA seasonal evolution is mainly related with the sea ice retreat in April, May, and June, the IF-MIZ extent appears as the main factor affecting the longer-term behavior of MSA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogenic Emissions to the Atmosphere)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Hydrologic Lag Effects on Wetland Greenhouse Gas Fluxes
Atmosphere 2019, 10(5), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10050269
Received: 12 April 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 12 May 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
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Abstract
Hydrologic margins of wetlands are narrow, transient zones between inundated and dry areas. As water levels fluctuate, the dynamic hydrology at margins may impact wetland greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes that are sensitive to soil saturation. The Prairie Pothole Region of North America consists [...] Read more.
Hydrologic margins of wetlands are narrow, transient zones between inundated and dry areas. As water levels fluctuate, the dynamic hydrology at margins may impact wetland greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes that are sensitive to soil saturation. The Prairie Pothole Region of North America consists of millions of seasonally-ponded wetlands that are ideal for studying hydrologic transition states. Using a long-term GHG database with biweekly flux measurements from 88 seasonal wetlands, we categorized each sample event into wet to wet (W→W), dry to wet (D→W), dry to dry (D→D), or wet to dry (W→D) hydrologic states based on the presence or absence of ponded water from the previous and current event. Fluxes of methane were 5-times lower in the D→W compared to W→W states, indicating a lag ‘ramp-up’ period following ponding. Nitrous oxide fluxes were highest in the W→D state and accounted for 20% of total emissions despite accounting for only 5.2% of wetland surface area during the growing season. Fluxes of carbon dioxide were unaffected by transitions, indicating a rapid acclimation to current conditions by respiring organisms. Results of this study highlight how seasonal drying and re-wetting impact GHGs and demonstrate the importance of hydrologic transitions on total wetland GHG balance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogenic Emissions to the Atmosphere)
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Open AccessArticle
A Two-Decade Anthropogenic and Biogenic Isoprene Emissions Study in a London Urban Background and a London Urban Traffic Site
Atmosphere 2018, 9(10), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9100387
Received: 24 July 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 September 2018 / Published: 3 October 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A relationship between isoprene and 1,3-butadiene mixing ratios was established to separate the anthropogenic and biogenic fractions of the measured isoprene in London air in both urban background (Eltham) and urban traffic (Marylebone Road) areas over two decades (1997–2017). The average daytime biogenic [...] Read more.
A relationship between isoprene and 1,3-butadiene mixing ratios was established to separate the anthropogenic and biogenic fractions of the measured isoprene in London air in both urban background (Eltham) and urban traffic (Marylebone Road) areas over two decades (1997–2017). The average daytime biogenic isoprene mixing ratios over this period reached 0.09 ± 0.04 ppb (Marylebone Road) and 0.11 ± 0.06 ppb (Eltham) between the period of 6:00 to 20:00 local standard time, contributing 40 and 75% of the total daytime isoprene mixing ratios. The average summertime biogenic isoprene mixing ratios for 1997–2017 are found to be 0.13 ± 0.02 and 0.15 ± 0.04 ppb which contribute 50 and 90% of the total summertime isoprene mixing ratios for Marylebone Road and Eltham, respectively. Significant anthropogenic isoprene mixing ratios are found during night-time (0.11 ± 0.04 ppb) and winter months (0.14 ± 0.01 ppb) at Marylebone Road. During high-temperature and high-pollution events (high ozone) there is a suggestion that ozone itself may be directly responsible for some of the isoprene emission. By observing the positive correlation between biogenic isoprene levels with temperature, photosynthetically active radiation and ozone mixing ratios during heatwave periods, the Cobb-Douglas production function was used to obtain a better understanding of the abiotic factors that stimulate isoprene emission from plants. Other reasons for a correlation between ozone and isoprene are discussed. The long-term effects of urban stressors on vegetation were also observed, with biogenic isoprene mixing ratios on Marylebone Road dropping over a 20-year period regardless of the sustained biomass levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogenic Emissions to the Atmosphere)
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