Headline: Comparing Urban Anthropogenic NMVOC Measurements With Representation in Emission Inventories—A Global Perspective

Emission inventories are a critical basis for air quality and climate modeling, as well as policy decisions. Non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) are key precursor compounds in ozone and secondary organic aerosol formation. Accurately representing NMVOCs in emission inventories is crucial for understanding atmospheric chemistry, the impact of policy measures, and climate projections. Improving NMVOC representation in emission inventories is fraught with challenges, ranging from the lack of (long-term) NMVOC measurements, limited efforts in updating emission factors, to the diversity of NMVOC species reactivity. Here we take an initial step to evaluate the representation of urban NMVOC speciation in an emission inventory (EDGARv4.3.2 and EDGARv6.1) at the global level. To compare the urban measurements of NMVOCs to the emission inventory estimates, ratios of individual NMVOCs to acetylene are used. Owing to limitations in measurement data and grouping of NMVOCs in emission inventories, the comparison includes only a limited number of alkanes, alkenes, and aromatics. Results show little to no agreement between the ratios in the observations and those in the global emission inventory for the species compared (r2 0.01–0.20). This could be related to incorrect speciation profiles and/or spatial allocation of NMVOCs to urban areas. Regional emission inventories show better agreement among the ratios (r2 0.43–0.70). The inclusion of oxygenated species in NMVOC measurements, as well as greater global coverage of measurements could improve representation of NMVOC species in emission inventories, and a mosaic of regional inventories may be a better approach.

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von Schneidemesser, E., McDonald, B. C., Denier van der Gon, H., Crippa, M., Guizzardi, D., Borbon, A., Dominutti, P., Huang, G., Jansens‐Maenhout, G., Li, M., Ou‐Yang, C., Tisinai, S., & Wang, J. (2023). Comparing Urban Anthropogenic NMVOC Measurements With Representation in Emission Inventories—A Global Perspective. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 128(8): e2022JD037906. doi:10.1029/2022JD037906.

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Climate Change and Air Pollution: Research Needs and Pathways to Policy Implementation