21 Mar 2022
21 Mar 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Transport of large stratospheric ozone to the surface by a dying typhoon and shallow convection

Zhixiong Chen1,3, Jane Liu1,2, Xiushu Qie3, Xugeng Cheng1, Yukun Shen1, Mengmiao Yang1, and Xiangke Liu4 Zhixiong Chen et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory for Humid Subtropical Eco-Geographical Processes of the Ministry of Education, School of Geographical Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou, China
  • 2Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 3Key Laboratory of Middle Atmosphere and Global Environment Observation (LAGEO), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 4Key Laboratory for Meteorological Disaster Prevention and Mitigation of Shandong, Jinan, China

Abstract. Stratospheric ozone transported to the troposphere is estimated to account for 5–10 % of the tropospheric ozone sources. However, chances for intruded stratospheric ozone to reach the surface are low. Here, we report an event of strong surface ozone surge with stratospheric origins in the North China Plain (NCP, 34° N–40° N, 114° E–121° E) at night of 31 July 2021. The hourly measurements revealed that surface ozone concentrations were up to 80–90 ppbv at several cities over the NCP from 23:00 on 31 July 1 to 6:00 on 01 August, 2021, which was 40–50 ppbv higher than the corresponding monthly mean. A high-frequency surface measurement indicates that this ozone surge occurred abruptly and reached 40–50 ppbv within ~10 minutes. A concurrent decline in surface carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations suggests that this surface ozone surge resulted from downward transport of stratospheric ozone-rich and CO-poor airmass. This is further confirmed by the vertical evolutions of humidity and ozone profiles at night, based on radiosonde and satellite data, respectively. Such an event of stratospheric impact on surface ozone is rarely documented in terms of its magnitude, covering areas, abruptness, and duration.

We find that this surface ozone surge was induced by a combined effect of a dying typhoon In-fa and shallow local mesoscale convective systems (MCS) that facilitated the transport of stratospheric ozone to the surface. This finding is based on analysis of meteorological reanalysis and radiosonde data, combining with high-resolution FLEXPART-WRF modeling. (WRF: Weather Research and Forecasting, FLEXPART: Flexible Lagrangian particle dispersion model). Although the synoptic-scale typhoon In-fa was in dissipation stage when it passed through the NCP, it could still bring down stratospheric dry and ozone-rich airmass. As a result, the stratospheric airmass descended to the middle-to-low troposphere over the NCP before the MCS formed. With the pre-existed stratospheric airmass, the convective downdrafts of the MCS facilitated the final descending of stratospheric airmass to the surface. Significant surface ozone enhancement occurred in the convective downdraft regions during the development and propagation of the MCS. This study underscores the non-negligible roles of dying typhoons and shallow convection in the transport of stratospheric ozone to the troposphere and even the surface, which have important implications for air quality, tropospheric ozone budget, and climate change.

Zhixiong Chen et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-60', Anonymous Referee #1, 06 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-60', Anonymous Referee #2, 07 Apr 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on acp-2022-60', Anonymous Referee #3, 12 Apr 2022
  • RC4: 'Comment on acp-2022-60', Anonymous Referee #4, 12 Apr 2022
  • RC5: 'Comment on acp-2022-60', Anonymous Referee #5, 19 Apr 2022

Zhixiong Chen et al.

Zhixiong Chen et al.


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Short summary
A vigorous surface ozone surge event with stratospheric origins in the North China Plain (NCP) at night. Surface ozone concentrations were 40–50 ppbv higher than the corresponding monthly mean, while surface carbon monoxide concentrations declined abruptly, which confirmed the direct stratospheric intrusions to the surface. We further addressed that a combined effect of the dying typhoon and mesoscale convective systems (MCS) was responsible for this vigorous ozone surge.