Influence of modelled soil biogenic NO emissions on related trace gases and the atmospheric oxidizing capacity

J. Steinkamp, L.N. Ganzeveld, W. Wilcke, M.G. Lawrence

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22 Citations (Scopus)


The emission of nitric oxide (NO) by soils (SNOx) is an important source of oxides of nitrogen (NOx=NO+NO2) in the troposphere, with estimates ranging from 4 to 21 Tg of nitrogen per year. Previous studies have examined the influence of SNOx on ozone (O-3) chemistry. We employ the ECHAM5/MESSy atmospheric chemistry model (EMAC) to go further in the reaction chain and investigate the influence of SNOx on lower tropospheric NOx, O-3, peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN), nitric acid (HNO3), the hydroxyl radical (OH) and the lifetime of methane (tau(CH4)). We show that SNOx is responsible for a significant contribution to the NOx mixing ratio in many regions, especially in the tropics. Furthermore, the concentration of OH is substantially increased due to SNOx, resulting in an enhanced oxidizing efficiency of the global troposphere, reflected in a similar to 10% decrease in tau(CH4) due to soil NO emissions. On the other hand, in some regions SNOx has a negative feedback on the lifetime of NOx through O-3 and OH, which results in regional increases in the mixing ratio of NOx despite lower total emissions in a simulation without SNOx. In a sensitivity simulation in which we reduce the other surface NOx emissions by the same amount as SNOx, we find that they have a much weaker impact on OH and tau(CH4) and do not result in an increase in the NOx mixing ratio anywhere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2663-2677
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • submodel system messy
  • available measurement data
  • technical note
  • convection parameterisations
  • oxide emissions
  • ozone
  • chemistry
  • fields
  • implementation
  • impact


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