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Hydroxyl radicals in the tropical troposphere over the Suriname rainforest: comparison of measurements with the box model MECCA

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Author(s): D. Kubistin | H. Harder | M. Martinez | M. Rudolf | R. Sander | H. Bozem | G. Eerdekens | H. Fischer | C. Gurk | T. Klüpfel | R. Königstedt | U. Parchatka | C. L. Schiller | A. Stickler | D. Taraborrelli | J. Williams | J. Lelieveld

Journal: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
ISSN 1680-7367

Volume: 8;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 15239;
Date: 2008;
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ABSTRACT
As a major source region of the hydroxyl radical OH, the Tropics largely control the oxidation capacity of the atmosphere on a global scale. However, emissions of hydrocarbons from the tropical rainforest that react rapidly with OH can potentially deplete the amount of OH and thereby reduce the oxidation capacity. The airborne GABRIEL field campaign in equatorial South America (Suriname) in October 2005 investigated the influence of the tropical rainforest on the HOx budget (HOx=OH+HO2). The first observations of OH and HO2 over a tropical rainforest are compared to steady state concentrations calculated with the atmospheric chemistry box model MECCA. The important precursors and sinks for HOx chemistry, measured during the campaign, are used as constraining parameters for the simulation of OH and HO2. Significant underestimations of HOx are found by the model over land during the afternoon, with mean ratios of observation to model of 12.2±3.5 and 4.1±1.4 for OH and HO2, respectively. The discrepancy between measurements and simulation results is correlated to the abundance of isoprene. While for low isoprene mixing ratios (above ocean or at altitudes >3 km), observation and simulation agree fairly well, for mixing ratios >200 pptV (

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