Baseline carbon monoxide and ozone in the northeast US over 2001–2010
- 1Department of Chemistry, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA
- 2Atmospheric Science Research Center, State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY 12203, USA
- 3Emissions and Model Evaluation Branch, Atmospheric Modeling and Analysis Division, NERL, ORD, U.S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
- 4School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
- 5Department of Geography and Program in Planning, University of Toronto, 100 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3G3, Canada
Abstract. Baseline carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone (O3) were studied at seven rural sites in the northeast US during varying periods over 2001–2010. Interannual and seasonal variations of baseline CO and O3 were examined for the effects of changes in anthropogenic emissions, stratospheric intrusion, transport pathways and O3 photochemistry. Baseline CO generally exhibited decreasing trends at most sites, except at Castle Spring (CS), an elevated (~ 400 m a.s.l.) site in rural central New Hampshire. Over April 2001–December 2010, baseline CO at Thompson Farm (TF), Pinnacle State Park (PSP), and Whiteface Mountain (WFM) decreased at rates ranging from −4.3 to −2.5 ppbv yr−1. Baseline CO decreased significantly at a rate of −2.3 ppbv yr−1 at Mt. Washington (MWO) over April 2001–March 2009, and −3.5 ppbv yr−1 at Pack Monadnock (PM) over July 2004–October 2010. Unlike baseline CO, baseline O3 did not display a significant long term trend at any of the sites, resulting probably from opposite trends in NOx emissions worldwide and possibly from the overall relatively constant mixing ratios of CH4 in the 2000s. In looking into long term trends by season, wintertime baseline CO at MWO and WFM, the highest sites, did not exhibit a significant trend, probably due to the competing effects of decreasing CO emissions in the US and increasing emissions in Asia. Springtime and wintertime baseline O3 at TF increased significantly at a rate of 2.4 and 2.7 ppbv yr−1, respectively, which was likely linked to nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions reductions over urban areas and possible resultant increases in O3 due to less titration by NO in urban plumes. The effects of meteorology on baseline O3 and CO were investigated. A negative correlation was found between springtime baseline O3 and the North Atlantic oscillation (NAO) index. It was found that during positive NAO years, lower baseline O3 in the northeast US was linked to less solar radiation flux, weakened stratospheric intrusion, and intensified continental export. The lowest baseline CO at Appledore Island (AI), PM, TF, PSP, WFM and the lowest baseline O3 at AI, PM, and PSP in summer 2009 were linked to the negative phase of the Arctic oscillation (AO), when more frequent cyclone activities brought more clean Arctic air to midlatitudes. It was also found that forest fires played a major role in determining baseline CO in the northeast US In summer, ~ 38% of baseline CO variability at AI, CS, MWO, TF, PSP, and WFM could be explained by CO emissions from forest fires in Russia and ~ 22 % by emissions from forest fires in Canada. Long-range transport of O3 and its precursors from biomass burning contributed to the highest baseline O3 in summer 2003 at AI, CS, MWO, TF, and WFM. The findings of this study suggested impacts of increasing Asian emissions, NOx emissions from the Northeast Urban corridor, global biomass burning emissions, and meteorological conditions (e.g. cyclone activity, AO, and NAO) should all be considered when designing strategies for meeting and maintaining National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and evaluating the air quality in the northeast US.
Y. Zhou et al.
Y. Zhou et al.