Improvements to the representation of BVOC chemistry–climate interactions in UKCA (v11.5) with the CRI-Strat 2 mechanism: incorporation and evaluation

James Weber, M Anwar H Khan, Dudley E Shallcross, Alex T Archibald, et al.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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We present the first incorporation of the Common Representative Intermediates version 2.2 tropospheric chemistry mechanism, CRI v2.2, combined with stratospheric chemistry, into the global chemistry–climate United Kingdom Chemistry and Aerosols (UKCA) model to give the CRI-Strat 2 mechanism. A rigorous comparison of CRIStrat 2 with the earlier version, CRI-Strat, is performed in UKCA in addition to an evaluation of three mechanisms, CRI-Strat 2, CRI-Strat and the standard UKCA chemical mechanism, StratTrop v1.0, against a wide array of surface and airborne chemical data. CRI-Strat 2 comprises a state-of-the-art isoprene scheme, optimized against the Master Chemical Mechanism v3.3.1,
which includes isoprene peroxy radical isomerization, HOx recycling through the addition of photolabile hydroperoxy aldehydes (HPALDs), and isoprene epoxy diol (IEPOX) formation. CRI-Strat 2 also features updates to several rate constants for the inorganic chemistry, including the reactions of inorganic nitrogen and O(
1D). The update to the isoprene chemistry in CRI-Strat 2 increases OH over the lowest 500 m in tropical forested regions by 30 %–50 % relative to CRI-Strat, leading to an improvement in model–observation comparisons for surface OH and
isoprene relative to CRI-Strat and StratTrop. Enhanced oxidants also cause a 25 % reduction in isoprene burden and an increase in oxidation fluxes of isoprene and other biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) at low altitudes with likely impacts on subsequent aerosol formation, atmospheric lifetime, and climate.
By contrast, updates to the rate constants of O(1D) with its main reactants relative to CRI-Strat reduces OH in much of the free troposphere, producing a 2 % increase in the methane lifetime, and increases the tropospheric ozone burden by 8 %, primarily from reduced loss via O(1D) + H2O. The changes to inorganic nitrogen reaction rate constants increase the NOx burden by 4 % and shift the distribution of nitrated species closer to that simulated by StratTrop. CRI-Strat 2 is suitable for multi-decadal model integrations and the improved representation of isoprene chemistry provides an opportunity to explore the consequences of
HOx recycling in the United Kingdom Earth System Model (UKESM1). This new mechanism will enable a re-evaluation of the impact of BVOCs on the chemical composition of the atmosphere and further probe the feedback between the biosphere and the climate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5239-5268
Number of pages30
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements. This work used Monsoon2, a collaborative high-performance computing facility funded by the Met Office and the Natural Environment Research Council. This work used JASMIN, the UK collaborative data analysis facility.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 James Weber et al.


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