Oxygenated organic Compounds in the Tropical Atmosphere: variability and atmosphere-biosphere Exchanges

Oxygenated Volatile Organic Compounds (OVOCs) have a significant impact on the atmospheric oxidative capacity and climate. Methanol, acetaldehyde and acetone are among the most abundant OVOCs, especially in the marine atmosphere. However, large discrepancies in OVOC budget estimates still exist, mostly due to incomplete representation of photochemical OVOC production, and uncertainties in terrestrial emissions and ocean/atmosphere exchanges of OVOCs and their precursors. The paucity of OVOC observations in tropical regions strongly contributes to those uncertainties. A better understanding of OVOC sources and sinks is required to quantify their impact on atmospheric oxidants, on the lifetime of methane and consequently on climate.
The OCTAVE project aims to provide an improved assessment of the budget and role of OVOCs in tropical regions, and especially over oceans, relying on an integrated approach combining in situ measurements, satellite retrievals and modeling. 

The identification and quantification of (O)VOC sources and sinks is very important for understanding the evolution of the atmosphere as a whole, and for assessing the respective roles of natural emissions and human-induced changes on the Earth System.

CU Boulder contributes with long term MAX-DOAS measurements of halogene radicals in the atmosphere at the Maido observatory, Reunion, as well as in-situ measurements of glyoxal diurnal cycles in the free troposphere - where glyoxal is a proxy for organics - at the observatory during the intensive operating period in spring 2018.


Maido observatory


BIRA campaign description