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  • Finney_et_al-2016-Geophysical_Research_Letters

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Response of lightning NOx emissions and ozone production to climate change: Insights from the Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Model Intercomparison Project

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>28/05/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Geophysical Research Letters
Issue number10
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)5492-5500
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date16/05/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Results from an ensemble of models are used to investigate the response of lightning nitrogen oxide emissions to climate change and the consequent impacts on ozone production. Most models generate lightning using a parameterization based on cloud top height. With this approach and a present-day global emission of 5 TgN, we estimate a linear response with respect to changes in global surface temperature of +0.44 ± 0.05 TgN K-1. However, two models using alternative approaches give +0.14 and −0.55 TgN K-1 suggesting that the simulated response is highly dependent on lightning parameterization. Lightning NOx is found to have an ozone production efficiency of 6.5 ± 4.7 times that of surface NOx sources. This wide range of efficiencies across models is partly due to the assumed vertical distribution of the lightning source and partly to the treatment of nonmethane volatile organic compound (NMVOC) chemistry. Careful consideration of the vertical distribution of emissions is needed, given its large influence on ozone production.