Interannual variation, decadal trend, and future change in ozone outflow from East Asia
Abstract. We examine the past and future changes in the O3 outflow from East Asia using a global 3-D chemical transport model, GEOS-Chem. The simulations of Asian O3 outflow for 1986–2006 are driven by the assimilated GEOS-4 meteorological fields, and those for 2000–2050 are driven by the meteorological fields archived by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) general circulation model (GCM) 3 under the IPCC SRES A1B scenario. The evaluation of the model results against measurements shows that the GEOS-Chem model captures the seasonal cycles and interannual variations of tropospheric O3 concentrations fairly well with high correlation coefficients of 0.82–0.93 at four ground-based sites and 0.55–0.88 at two ozonesonde sites where observations are available. The increasing trends in surface-layer O3 concentrations in East Asia over the past 2 decades are captured by the model, although the modeled O3 trends have low biases. Sensitivity studies are conducted to examine the respective impacts of meteorological parameters and emissions on the variations in the outflow flux of O3. When both meteorological parameters and anthropogenic emissions varied from 1986–2006, the simulated Asian O3 outflow fluxes exhibited a statistically insignificant decadal trend; however, they showed large interannual variations (IAVs) with seasonal values of 4–9 % for the absolute percent departure from the mean (APDM) and an annual APDM value of 3.3 %. The sensitivity simulations indicated that the large IAVs in O3 outflow fluxes were mainly caused by variations in the meteorological conditions. The variations in meteorological parameters drove the IAVs in O3 outflow fluxes by altering the O3 concentrations over East Asia and by altering the zonal winds; the latter was identified to be the key factor, since the O3 outflow was highly correlated with zonal winds from 1986–2006. The simulations of the 2000–2050 changes show that the annual outflow flux of O3 will increase by 2.0, 7.9, and 12.2 % owing to climate change alone, emissions change alone, and changes in both climate and emissions, respectively. Therefore, climate change will aggravate the effects of the increases in anthropogenic emissions on future changes in the Asian O3 outflow. Future climate change is predicted to greatly increase the Asian O3 outflow in the spring and summer seasons as a result of the projected increases in zonal winds. The findings from the present study help us to understand the variations in tropospheric O3 in the downwind regions of East Asia on different timescales and have important implications for long-term air quality planning in the regions downwind of China, such as Japan and the US.