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Hydrogen Cyanide in the Upper Troposphere: GEM-AQ Simulation and Comparison with ACE-FTS ObservationsWe investigate the spatial and temporal distribution of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) in the upper troposphere through numerical simulations and comparison with observations from a space-based instrument. To perform the simulations, we used the Global Environmental Multiscale Air Quality model (GEM-AQ), which is based on the threedimensional Gobal multiscale model developed by the Meteorological Service of Canada for operational weather forecasting. The model was run for the period 2004-2006 on a 1.5deg x 1.5deg global grid with 28 hybrid vertical levels from the surface up to 10 hPa. Objective analysis data from the Canadian Meteorological Centre were used to update the meteorological fields every 24 h. Fire emission fluxes of gas species were generated by using year-specific inventories of carbon emissions with 8-day temporal resolution from the Global Fire Emission Database (GFED) version 2. The model output is compared with HCN profiles measured by the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS) instrument onboard the Canadian SCISAT-1 satellite. High values of up to a few ppbv are observed in the tropics in the Southern Hemisphere; the enhancement in HCN volume mixing ratios in the upper troposphere is most prominent in October. Low upper-tropospheric mixing ratios of less than 100 pptv are mostly recorded at middle and high latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere in May-July. Mixing ratios in Northern Hemisphere peak in the boreal summer. The amplitude of the seasonal variation is less pronounced than in the Southern Hemisphere. The comparison with the satellite data shows that in the upper troposphere GEM-AQ perform7s well globally for all seasons, except at northern hi gh and middle latitudes in surnmer, where the model has a large negative bias, and in the tropics in winter and spring, where it exhibits large positive bias. This may reflect inaccurate emissions or possible inaccuracies in the emission profile. The model is able to explain most of the observed variability in the upper troposphere HCN field, includin g the interannual variations in the observed mixing ratio. A complementary comparison with daily total columns of HCN from two middle latitude ground-based stations in Northern Japan for the same simulation period shows that the model captures the observed seasonal variation and also points to an underestimation of model emissions in the Northern Hemisphere in the summer. The estimated average global emission equals 1.3 Tg N/yr. The average atmospheric burden is 0.53 Tg N, and the corresponding lifetime is 4.9 months.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Lupu, A. (York Univ. Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Kaminski, J. W. (York Univ. Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Neary, L. (York Univ. Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
McConnell, J. C. (York Univ. Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Toyota, K. (York Univ. Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Rinsland, C. P. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Bernath, P. F. (York Univ. Helington, United Kingdom)
Walker, K. A. (Toronto Univ. Ontario, Canada)
Boone, C. D. (York Univ. Helington, United Kingdom)
Nagahama, Y. (Yokohama National Univ. Yokohama, Japan)
Suzuki, K. (Yokohama National Univ. Yokohama, Japan)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
July 3, 2009
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Volume: 9
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 444491.
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