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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 15, issue 18
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 10839–10856, 2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 10839–10856, 2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 29 Sep 2015

Research article | 29 Sep 2015

Springtime daily variations in lower-tropospheric ozone over east Asia: the role of cyclonic activity and pollution as observed from space with IASI

G. Dufour1, M. Eremenko1, J. Cuesta1, C. Doche2, G. Foret1, M. Beekmann1, A. Cheiney1,3, Y. Wang4, Z. Cai4, Y. Liu4, M. Takigawa5, Y. Kanaya5, and J.-M. Flaud1 G. Dufour et al.
  • 1Laboratoire Inter-universitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques (LISA), UMR7583, Universités Paris-Est Créteil et Paris Diderot, CNRS, Créteil, France
  • 2Météo France, Direction Inter-Régionale Sud-Ouest, Division Etudes et Climatologie, Mérignac, France
  • 3Institut National de l'Environnement industriel et des RISques, INERIS, Verneuil-en-Halatte, France
  • 4Key Laboratory of Middle Atmosphere and Global Environment Observation, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 5Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama, Japan

Abstract. We use satellite observations from IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer) on board the MetOp-A satellite to evaluate the springtime daily variations in lower-tropospheric ozone over east Asia. The availability of semi-independent columns of ozone from the surface up to 12 km simultaneously with CO columns provides a powerful observational data set to diagnose the processes controlling tropospheric ozone enhancement on synoptic scales. By combining IASI observations with meteorological reanalyses from ERA-Interim, we develop an analysis method based only on IASI ozone and CO observations to identify the respective roles of the stratospheric source and the photochemical source in ozone distribution and variations over east Asia. The succession of low- and high-pressure systems drives the day-to-day variations in lower-tropospheric ozone. A case study analysis of one frontal system and one cut-off low system in May 2008 shows that reversible subsiding and ascending ozone transfers in the upper-troposphere–lower-stratosphere (UTLS) region, due to the tropopause perturbations occurring in the vicinity of low-pressure systems, impact free and lower-tropospheric ozone over large regions, especially north of 40° N, and largely explain the ozone enhancement observed with IASI for these latitudes. Irreversible stratosphere–troposphere exchanges of ozone-rich air masses occur more locally in the southern and southeastern flanks of the trough. The contribution to the lower-tropospheric ozone column is difficult to dissociate from the tropopause perturbations generated by weather systems. For regions south of 40° N, a significant correlation has been found between lower-tropospheric ozone and carbon monoxide (CO) observations from IASI, especially over the North China Plain (NCP). Considering carbon monoxide observations as a pollutant tracer, the O3–CO correlation indicates that the photochemical production of ozone from primary pollutants emitted over such large polluted regions significantly contributes to the ozone enhancements observed in the lower troposphere via IASI. When low-pressure systems circulate over the NCP, stratospheric and pollution sources play a concomitant role in the ozone enhancement. IASI's 3-D observational capability allows the areas in which each source dominates to be determined. Moreover, the studied cut-off low system has enough potential convective capacity to uplift pollutants (ozone and CO) and to transport them to Japan. The increase in the enhancement ratio of ozone to CO from 0.16 on 12 May over the North China Plain to 0.28 over the Sea of Japan on 14 May indicates photochemical processing during the plume transport.

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Short summary
We identify the stratospheric and the photochemical sources contributing to the late-spring O3 distribution over East Asia using IASI O3 and CO observations. Reversible subsiding O3 transfers in the UTLS associated with low-pressure systems impact lower-tropospheric O3 north of 40°N. By contrast, photochemical production from primary pollutants significantly contributes to the enhanced lower-tropospheric O3 over the NCP and photochemical processing occurs within the plume exported from the NCP.
We identify the stratospheric and the photochemical sources contributing to the late-spring O3...
Final-revised paper