Articles | Volume 2, issue 1
07 Apr 2008
 | 07 Apr 2008

The impact of biogenic VOC emissions on photochemical ozone formation during a high ozone pollution episode in the Iberian Peninsula in the 2003 summer season

N. Castell, A. F. Stein, R. Salvador, E. Mantilla, and M. Millán

Abstract. Throughout Europe the summer of 2003 was exceptionally warm, especially July and August. The European Environment Agency (EEA) reported several ozone episodes, mainly in the first half of August. These episodes were exceptionally long-lasting, spatially extensive, and associated to high temperatures. In this paper, the 10$ndash;15 August 2003 ozone pollution event has been analyzed using meteorological and regional air quality modelling. During this period the threshold values of the European Directive 2002/3/EC were exceeded in various areas of the Iberian Peninsula.

The aim of this paper is to computationally understand and quantify the influence of biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emissions in the formation of tropospheric ozone during this high ozone episode. Being able to differentiate how much ozone comes from biogenic emissions alone and how much comes from the interaction between anthropogenic and biogenic emissions would be helpful to develop a feasible and effective ozone control strategy. The impact on ozone formation was also studied in combination with various anthropogenic emission reduction strategies, i.e., when anthropogenic VOC emissions and/or NOx emissions are reduced. The results show a great dependency of the BVOC contribution to ozone formation on the antropoghenic reduction scenario. In rural areas, the impact due to a NOx and/or VOC reduction does not change the BVOC impact. Nevertheless, within big cities or industrial zones, a NOx reduction results in a decrease of the biogenic impact in ozone levels that can reach 85 μg/m3, whereas an Anthropogenic Volatile Organic Compound (AVOC) reduction results in a decrease of the BVOC contribution on ozone formation that varies from 0 to 30 μg/m3 with respect to the contribution at the same points in the 2003 base scenario. On the other hand, downwind of the big cities, a decrease in NOx produces a minor contribution of biogenic emissions and a decrease in AVOCs results in greater contributions of BVOCs to the formation of ozone.