Tropospheric ozone radiative forcing uncertainty due to pre-industrial fire and biogenic emissions

Matthew J. Rowlinson, Alexandru Rap, Douglas S. Hamilton, Richard J. Pope, Stijn Hantson, Steve R. Arnold, Jed O. Kaplan, Almut Arneth, Martyn P. Chipperfield, Piers M. Forster, Lars M. Nieradzik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


pTropospheric ozone concentrations are sensitive to natural emissions of precursor compounds. In contrast to existing assumptions, recent evidence indicates that terrestrial vegetation emissions in the pre-industrial era were larger than in the present day. We use a chemical transport model and a radiative transfer model to show that revised inventories of pre-industrial fire and biogenic emissions lead to an increase in simulated pre-industrial ozone concentrations, decreasing the estimated pre-industrial to present-day tropospheric ozone radiative forcing by up to 34 % (0.38 to 0.25 W mspan classCombining double low line"inline-formula"-2/span). We find that this change is sensitive to employing biomass burning and biogenic emissions inventories based on matching vegetation patterns, as the co-location of emission sources enhances the effect on ozone formation. Our forcing estimates are at the lower end of existing uncertainty range estimates (0.2-0.6 W mspan classCombining double low line"inline-formula"-2/span), without accounting for other sources of uncertainty. Thus, future work should focus on reassessing the uncertainty range of tropospheric ozone radiative forcing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10937-10951
Number of pages15
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 22 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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