University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Geophysical and Environmental Processes (DAMTP/BPI) > Oil Palms, Alkenes, SCIs and Ozone: New measurement approaches to sidestep atmospheric chemical complexity

Oil Palms, Alkenes, SCIs and Ozone: New measurement approaches to sidestep atmospheric chemical complexity

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Ozone is an important air pollutant, harmful to human health, agricultural crops and vegetation; the main precursor to the atmospheric oxidants which initiate the degradation of most reactive gases emitted to the atmosphere, and is an important greenhouse gas in its own right. The capacity to understand, predict and so to manage tropospheric ozone levels is a key goal for atmospheric science research. This goal is hard to achieve, as ozone is a secondary pollutant, formed in the atmosphere from the complex oxidation of VOCs in the presence of NOx and sunlight, and a combination of in situ chemical processes, deposition and transport govern ozone levels. Uncertainties in all of these factors affect the accuracy of numerical models used to predict current and future ozone levels. This talk briefly presents results from complementary experimental approaches (large atmospheric simulation chambers, and field process studies) which aim to provide new understanding of ozone formation in complex atmospheric systems, through an integrated process view :

(a) The impact of a new biogenic VOC , Methyl Chavicol, whose emissions are growing with the expansion of Oil Palm plantations, upon ozone formation

(b) The importance of Criegee Intermediates, formed from alkene-ozone reactions, as “new” atmospheric oxidants alongside species such as OH radicals.

(c) A new approach for the direct measurement of local chemical ozone production rates in the ambient atmospheric boundary layer.

This talk is part of the Geophysical and Environmental Processes (DAMTP/BPI) series.

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