1 June 2022 - 31 August 2023

Lead Scientist: Rebecca Sheesley

Observatory: nsa, nsa

Climate in the Arctic is changing at a rapid pace. When vegetation reacts to these changes, chemicals called biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) can be released into the atmosphere in new ways. This project seeks to investigate how climate change affects the quantity and type of BVOCs released into the atmosphere on the North Slope of Alaska (NSA). In addition, we are interested in the chemical reactions these BVOCs undergo in the arctic atmosphere. Project goals will be accomplished through field work on the NSA, collection and laboratory analysis of emission and atmospheric samples, and modeling of potential emissions and chemistry.

This project is an integrated field experiment and modeling project focused on quantifying biogenic emissions from tundra vegetation and subsequent organic aerosol production. The project activities will include targeted field campaigns across the North Slope of Alaska, laboratory analysis, and modeling. Specifically, the project intends to (1) measure the release of volatile organic compounds by vegetation (biogenic VOC) under different environmental conditions, (2) model summertime chemistry of BVOCs, and (3) measure the concentration of BVOCs and their secondary organic aerosol products during NSA field campaigns. This work will culminate in (4) building a predictive understanding of how vegetation type and seasonal and climate variations across the NSA control BVOC emissions and subsequent aerosol formation. Terrestrial vegetation plays a critical role in the formation of organic aerosol with significant implications for atmospheric chemistry and climate. By quantifying the relationships among physical and biological drivers for current vegetation emissions, this project will significantly advance predictions of the impacts of changing climate and vegetation on future vegetation emissions and organic aerosol composition and concentrations.


Kelley Barsanti