Tropospheric ozone variability in the tropics from ENSO to MJO and shorter timescales
Abstract. Aura OMI and MLS measurements are combined to produce daily maps of tropospheric ozone beginning October 2004. We show that El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) related inter-annual change in tropospheric ozone in the tropics is small in relation to combined intra-seasonal/Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) and shorter timescale variability by a factor of ~ 3–10 (largest in the Atlantic). Outgoing longwave radiation (OLR), taken as a proxy for convection, suggests that convection is a dominant driver of large-scale variability of tropospheric ozone in the Pacific from inter-annual (e.g., ENSO) to weekly periods. We compare tropospheric ozone and OLR satellite observations with two simulations: (1) the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) chemistry-climate model (CCM) that uses observed sea surface temperatures and is otherwise free-running, and (2) the NASA Global Modeling Initiative (GMI) chemical transport model (CTM) that is driven by Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) analyses. It is shown that the CTM-simulated ozone accurately matches measurements for timescales from ENSO to intra-seasonal/MJO and even 1–2-week periods. The CCM simulation reproduces ENSO variability but not shorter timescales. These analyses suggest that a model used to delineate temporal and/or spatial properties of tropospheric ozone and convection in the tropics must reproduce both ENSO and non-ENSO variability.