Large upper tropospheric ozone enhancements above midlatitude North America during summer: In situ evidence from the IONS and MOZAIC ozone measurement network

Owen R. Cooper, A. Stohl, M. Trainer, A. M. Thompson, J. C. Witte, S. J. Oltmans, G. Morris, K. E. Pickering, J. H. Crawford, G. Chen, R. C. Cohen, T. H. Bertram, P. Wooldridge, A. Perring, W. H. Brune, J. Merrill, J. L. Moody, D. Tarasick, P. Nédélec, G. ForbesM. J. Newchurch, F. J. Schmidlin, B. J. Johnson, S. Turquety, S. L. Baughcum, X. Ren, F. J. Fehsenfeld, J. F. Meagher, N. Spichtinger, C. C. Brown, S. A. McKeen, I. S. McDermid, T. Leblanc

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Abstract

The most extensive set of free tropospheric ozone measurements ever compiled across midlatitude North America was measured with daily ozonesondes, commercial aircraft and a lidar at 14 sites during July-August 2004. The model estimated stratospheric ozone was subtracted from all profiles, leaving a tropospheric residual ozone. On average the upper troposphere above midlatitude eastern North America contained 15 ppbv more tropospheric residual ozone than the more polluted layer between the surface and 2 km above sea level. Lowest ozone values in the upper troposphere were found above the two upwind sites in California. The upper troposphere above midlatitude eastern North America contained 16 ppbv more tropospheric residual ozone than the upper troposphere above three upwind sites, with the greatest enhancement above Houston, Texas, at 24 ppbv. Upper tropospheric CO measurements above east Texas show no statistically significant enhancement compared to west coast measurements, arguing against a strong influence from fresh surface anthropogenic emissions to the upper troposphere above Texas where the ozone enhancement is greatest. Vertical mixing of ozone from the boundary layer to the upper troposphere can only account for 2 ppbv of the 16 ppbv ozone enhancement above eastern North America; therefore the remaining 14 ppbv must be the result of in situ ozone production. The transport of NOx tracers from North American anthropogenic, biogenic, biomass burning, and lightning emissions was simulated for the upper troposphere of North America with a particle dispersion model. Additional box model calculations suggest the 24 ppbv ozone enhancement above Houston can be produced over a 10 day period from oxidation reactions of lightning NOx and background mixing ratios of CO and CH4. Overall, we estimate that 69-84% (11-13 ppbv) of the 16 ppbv ozone enhancement above eastern North America is due to in situ ozone production from lightning NOx with the remainder due to transport of ozone from the surface or in situ ozone production from other sources of NOx.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberD24S05
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Volume111
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 27 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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