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Missing OH Reactivity in a Forest: Evidence for Unknown Reactive Biogenic VOCs

Science  30 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5671, pp. 722-725
DOI: 10.1126/science.1094392

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Abstract

Forest emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), such as isoprene and other terpenes, play a role in the production of tropospheric ozone and aerosols. In a northern Michigan forest, the direct measurement of total OH reactivity, which is the inverse of the OH lifetime, was significantly greater than expected. The difference between measured and expected OH reactivity, called the missing OH reactivity, increased with temperature, as did emission rates for terpenes and other BVOCs. These measurements are consistent with the hypothesis that unknown reactive BVOCs, perhaps terpenes, provide the missing OH reactivity.

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