Articles | Volume 5, issue 6
Model description paper
26 Nov 2012
Model description paper |  | 26 Nov 2012

The Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature version 2.1 (MEGAN2.1): an extended and updated framework for modeling biogenic emissions

A. B. Guenther, X. Jiang, C. L. Heald, T. Sakulyanontvittaya, T. Duhl, L. K. Emmons, and X. Wang

Abstract. The Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature version 2.1 (MEGAN2.1) is a modeling framework for estimating fluxes of biogenic compounds between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere using simple mechanistic algorithms to account for the major known processes controlling biogenic emissions. It is available as an offline code and has also been coupled into land surface and atmospheric chemistry models. MEGAN2.1 is an update from the previous versions including MEGAN2.0, which was described for isoprene emissions by Guenther et al. (2006) and MEGAN2.02, which was described for monoterpene and sesquiterpene emissions by Sakulyanontvittaya et al. (2008). Isoprene comprises about half of the total global biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) emission of 1 Pg (1000 Tg or 1015 g) estimated using MEGAN2.1. Methanol, ethanol, acetaldehyde, acetone, α-pinene, β-pinene, t-β-ocimene, limonene, ethene, and propene together contribute another 30% of the MEGAN2.1 estimated emission. An additional 20 compounds (mostly terpenoids) are associated with the MEGAN2.1 estimates of another 17% of the total emission with the remaining 3% distributed among >100 compounds. Emissions of 41 monoterpenes and 32 sesquiterpenes together comprise about 15% and 3%, respectively, of the estimated total global BVOC emission. Tropical trees cover about 18% of the global land surface and are estimated to be responsible for ~80% of terpenoid emissions and ~50% of other VOC emissions. Other trees cover about the same area but are estimated to contribute only about 10% of total emissions. The magnitude of the emissions estimated with MEGAN2.1 are within the range of estimates reported using other approaches and much of the differences between reported values can be attributed to land cover and meteorological driving variables. The offline version of MEGAN2.1 source code and driving variables is available from and the version integrated into the Community Land Model version 4 (CLM4) can be downloaded from