MEGAN v2.0 biogenic emissions

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MEGAN v2.0 emissions have since been retired from GEOS-Chem. Please see our MEGAN v2.1 plus Guenther 2012 biogenic emissions wiki page for more information about the most recent MEGAN emissions.

On this page we describe the MEGAN v2.0 biogenic emissions code and data, which was used in GEOS-Chem v8-02-03 and prior versions.


GEOS-Chem v8-02-03 was the last version to use the MEGAN v2.0 emissions. Please see the discussion below for the latest information.

The source code for MEGAN v2.0 emissions are in the files:

  1. lai_mod.f
  2. megan_mod.f

For more information about the data files, please see the following README: GEOS_1x1/MEGAN_200510/README

MEGAN documentation

Dylan Millet wrote:

There was discussion at the 2009 GC User's Meeting about divergent implementations of MEGAN and the need to better document what we're doing in GEOS-Chem. Here is a description (current as of 5/1/2009) for people to use and modify in their publications.
We use the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN) [Guenther et al., 2006] to derive isoprene emissions for each GEOS-Chem grid square [Palmer et al., 2006; Millet et al., 2008]. MEGAN computes emissions for plant functional types (PFTs) as a function of temperature, solar radiation, leaf area index (LAI), and leaf age. Fractional coverage for each PFT and vegetation-specific emission factors (EFs) are based on the MEGAN landcover data (PFT v2.0, EFs v2.0). The temperature effect on leaf emissions is computed as a function both of the current temperature and the average temperature over the previous 15 days [Guenther et al., 1999]. The implementation also includes a 5-layer canopy model [Guenther et al., 1999] to account for the effects of direct and diffuse PAR on sunlit and shaded leaves. We explicitly consider the effect of leaf age on emissions, with leaf age fractions for new, young, mature, and old leaves estimated for each model grid square from local LAI and temperature changes according to Guenther et al. [2006]. We drive MEGAN in GEOS-Chem with assimilated surface air temperature and photosynthetically active radiation (direct and diffuse) observations from the NASA Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO). Monthly mean LAI values are based on AVHRR satellite data [Buermann et al., 2002].
See the list of references below for more information.

--Dbm 14:48, 1 May 2009 (EDT)

Updated annual emission factor for Isoprene

In GEOS-Chem v7-04-12 (as of Sep 2007), we use the older annual emission factors (AEF's) for isoprene.

However, Alex Guenther (personal communication) uses the current isoprene AEF's were obsolete and that we should be using updated isoprene AEF's. Dylan Millet has created an updated AEF file for isoprene but it has not been implemented into the standard GEOS-Chem code yet. (Some folks have already used the new AEF's in their research codes.) The new AEF's are currently scheduled to be implemented in GEOS-Chem beta release v8-01-02.

Reference: Guenther, A., T. Karl, P. Harley, C. Wiedinmyer, P.I. Palmer, and C. Geron (2006), Estimates of global terrestrial isoprene emissions using MEGAN (Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature), Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 6, 3181-3210.

MEGAN Website:

--Bob Y. 11:57, 2 December 2008 (EST)

Impact on isoprene emissions

Here are some presentations which document the change in the MEGAN biogenic emissions of isoprene caused by switching to the new annual emission factor (AEF) file.

  1. HERE is a comparison (by Dylan Millet) of isoprene emissions from GEIA vs. old MEGAN (i.e. v8-01-03 and prior) vs. new MEGAN (v8-01-04 and later, with updated baseline annual emission factors from Alex Guenther). 2001, 2x2.5, v7-04-11, GEOS-4 met.
  2. HERE is a comparison (by Rynda Hudman) on the effects of MEGAN on the v7-02-04 benchmark.

NOTE: The newer AEF's for isoprene are now used in GEOS-Chem v8-01-04 and higher.

--Bob Y. 09:39, 3 March 2009 (EST)


  1. Barkley, M., Description of MEGAN biogenic VOC emissions in GEOS-Chem, 2010. PDF
  2. Buermann, W., Wang, Y.J., Dong, J.R., Zhou, L.M., Zeng, X.B., Dickinson, R.E., Potter, C.S., and Myneni, R.B.: Analysis of a multiyear global vegetation leaf area index data set, J. Geophys. Res., 107, 4646, doi:10.1029/2001JD000975, 2002.
  3. Guenther, A., Baugh, B., Brasseur, G., Greenberg, J., Harley, P., Klinger, L., Serca, D., and Vierling, L.: Isoprene emission estimates and uncertainties for the Central African EXPRESSO study domain, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 30625-30639, 1999.
  4. Guenther, A., Karl, T., Harley, P., Wiedinmyer, C., Palmer, P.I., and Geron, C.: Estimates of global terrestrial isoprene emissions using MEGAN (Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature), Atmos. Chem. Phys., 6, 3181-3210, 2006.
  5. Guenther, A., and C. Wiedinmyer, User's guide to the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN), Version 2.01, 2007.
  6. Guenther, A. B., Jiang, X., Heald, C. L., Sakulyanontvittaya, T., Duhl, T., Emmons, L. K., and Wang, X.: The Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature version 2.1 (MEGAN2.1): an extended and updated framework for modeling biogenic emissions, Geosci. Model Dev., 5, 1471-1492, doi:10.5194/gmd-5-1471-2012, 2012. Article
  7. Millet, D.B., Jacob, D.J., Boersma, K.F., Fu, T.M., Kurosu, T.P., Chance, K., Heald, C.L., and Guenther, A.: Spatial distribution of isoprene emissions from North America derived from formaldehyde column measurements by the OMI satellite sensor, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D02307, doi:10.1029/2007JD008950, 2008. PDF
  8. Mueller, J.-F., et al. Global isoprene emissions estimated using MEGAN, ECMWF analyses and a detailed canopy environment model, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 1329-1341, 2008.
  9. Myneni, R. B., et al., Large seasonal swings in leaf area of Amazon rainforests, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(12), 4820{4823, doi:10.1073/pnas.0611338104, 2007.
  10. Palmer, P.I., Abbot, D.S., Fu, T.M., Jacob, D.J., Chance, K., Kurosu, T.P., Guenther, A., Wiedinmyer, C., Stanton, J.C., Pilling, M.J., Pressley, S.N., Lamb, B., and Sumner, A.L.: Quantifying the seasonal and interannual variability of North American isoprene emissions using satellite observations of the formaldehyde column, J. Geophys. Res., 111, D12315, doi:10.1029/2005JD006689, 2006. PDF
  11. Sakulyanontvittaya, T., T. Duhl, C. Wiedinmyer, D. Helmig, S. Matsunaga, M. Potosnak, J. Milford, and A. Guenther, Monoterpene and Sesquiterpene Emission Estimates for the United States, Environ. Sci. Technol., 42(5), 1623{1629, doi:10.1021/es702274e, 2008.

--Bob Y. 15:48, 25 February 2015 (EST)