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).
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
Manuscript Submission Information
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