The Regional Biogenic Emissions Response to Climate Changes and Ambient CO₂ in Southeast Asia

By Justin Sentian, Robert A. MacKenzie and Charles Nick Hewitt.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The emissions of isoprene from vegetation in the tropics have been regarded as one of the major sources of the global biogenic emission budget. As this emission is highly sensitive to temperature, one may expect significant changes to the emissions due to climate change. In this study, we explore the impact of regional climate change to the emissions of isoprene in Southeast Asia. The potential role of the combination of climate change and future atmospheric CO₂ concentration on isoprene emissions are also investigated. The latest generation of Hadley Centre regional climate modelling system, PRECIS (Providing Regional Climates for Impact Studies) was used to investigate the climate change in the region. The climate output dataset from the model was then used as input for the BVOC Emission Model, which was developed by Sheffield University and Lancaster University to estimate the emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds. The projected temperature changes under the A₂ emission scenario was 2.5⁰C, which accounted an increase of 22% of isoprene emission from 29 to 37 TgC/yr if the CO₂ emission factor was excluded. Incorporation of higher concentration in future CO₂ emissions was found to offset the climate change impact on future emissions of isoprene in the region. With the CO₂ effects, the projected regional isoprene emissions in 2100 dropped from 28 to 25 TgC/yr. These results suggest that future emissions of isoprene in the region is largely buffered by a number of competing factors, which are certainly important to be considered in estimating the isoprene global budget. In a wider perspective, the anticipated high concentration of CO₂ in the future could lead to the disruption of the ozone, organic aerosol and methane formation through the competing influence with warmer climate on isoprene emissions from tropical vegetation.

Keywords: Climate Change, Biogenic Emissions, Isoprene, Ambient CO₂, PRECIS, Modelling

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.125-142. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 988.604KB).

Dr. Justin Sentian

Senior Lecturer, Environmental science Programme, School of Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Prior joining the university, I was an Environmental Control Officer (1992-1997) at the Malaysian Department of Environment and mostly responsible for the Environmental Impact Assessment report review. In 1998, I joined the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and attached to Environmental Science Programme, at the School of Science and Technology. I obtained my MSc(Res) in Atmospheric Science in 2000 from the University of East Anglia UK. At UMS, I'm mostly involved in the teaching on a few subjects such as air pollution and climate change, air quality analyses, environmental impact assessment and environmental modelling. Apart from the teaching, I also actively involved in a number of funded research in the field of atmospheric science (air pollution, air quality monitoring, modelling and assessment). In 2009, I obtained my PhD from Lancaster University UK. My field of research was the investigation of regional climate change in Southeast Asia its impact on the regional biogenic emissions, and consequently its impact to the tropospheric ozone. Currently, my research is focusing on the regional impact of climate change to the human health (through ozone exposure), dengue outbreak and crops yield (i.e palm oil).

Dr. Robert A. MacKenzie

University of Lancaster, UK

I joined the Environmental Science Department at Lancaster university in May 1998. I teach atmospheric physics, chemistry, and pollutant transport at first year, second year, and third year level. I am the Environmental Science contact for the Environmental Physics degree we run jointly with the Physics Department, and I have overall responsibility for the Hazelrigg Climatological Field Station. My research interests centre on numerical modelling of aerosol processes in the troposphere and stratosphere. Aerosol particles are important in climate regulation - directly and through affecting cloud formation - and in many atmospheric chemistry processes.

Prof. Charles Nick Hewitt

University of Lancaster, UK

My main research interests are in understanding how the biosphere and the atmosphere interact: how emissions of trace gases from the biosphere affect the atmosphere, and how the changing atmospheric environment affects the biosphere. This requires a mixture of laboratory and field based experimental work with supporting modelling studies. I am also interested in air pollution and global climate change in general.


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