Description and evaluation of a secondary organic aerosol and new particle formation scheme within TM5-MP v1.2

Tommi Bergman, Risto Makkonen, Roland Schrödner, Erik Swietlicki, Vaughan T.J. Phillips, Philippe Le Sager, Twan Van Noije

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have implemented and evaluated a secondary organic aerosol scheme within the chemistry transport model TM5-MP in this work. In earlier versions of TM5-MP the secondary organic aerosol (SOA) was emitted as Aitken-sized particle mass emulating the condensation. In the current scheme we simulate the formation of secondary organic aerosol from oxidation of isoprene and monoterpenes by ozone and hydroxyl radicals, which produce semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) and extremely low-volatility compounds (EVOCs). Subsequently, SVOCs and ELVOCs can condense on particles. Furthermore, we have introduced a new particle formation mechanism depending on the concentration of ELVOCs. For evaluation purposes, we have simulated the year 2010 with the old and new scheme; we see an increase in simulated production of SOA from 39.9ĝ€¯Tgĝ€¯yr-1 with the old scheme to 52.5ĝ€¯Tgĝ€¯yr-1 with the new scheme. For more detailed analysis, the particle mass and number concentrations and their influence on the simulated aerosol optical depth are compared to observations. Phenomenologically, the new particle formation scheme implemented here is able to reproduce the occurrence of observed particle formation events. However, the modelled concentrations of formed particles are clearly lower than in observations, as is the subsequent growth to larger sizes. Compared to the old scheme, the new scheme increases the number concentrations across the observation stations while still underestimating the observations. The organic aerosol mass concentrations in the US show a much better seasonal cycle and no clear overestimation of mass concentrations anymore. In Europe the mass concentrations are lowered, leading to a larger underestimation of observations. Aerosol optical depth (AOD) is generally slightly increased except in the northern high latitudes. This brings the simulated annual global mean AOD closer to the observational estimate. However, as the increase is rather uniform, biases tend to be reduced only in regions where the model underestimates the AOD. Furthermore, the correlations with satellite retrievals and ground-based sun-photometer observations of AOD are improved. Although the process-based approach to SOA formation causes a reduction in model performance in some areas, overall the new scheme improves the simulated aerosol fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-713
Number of pages31
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 27

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Description and evaluation of a secondary organic aerosol and new particle formation scheme within TM5-MP v1.2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this