Synthesis of the Southeast Atmosphere Studies: Investigating Fundamental Atmospheric Chemistry Questions

Annmarie G. Carlton Department of Environmental Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey

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Joost de Gouw Chemical Sciences Division, NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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Alexis R. Attwood Chemical Sciences Division, NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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Steven Brown Chemical Sciences Division, NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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Kirk R. Baker Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

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Charles Brock Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California

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Ronald C. Cohen Department of Chemistry, and Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California

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Sylvia Edgerton National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia

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Caroline M. Farkas Department of Environmental Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey

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Delphine Farmer Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

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Allen H. Goldstein Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California

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Lynne Gratz School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, University of Washington Bothell, Bothell, Washington

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Alex Guenther Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California

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Sherri Hunt Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

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Lyatt Jaeglé School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, University of Washington Bothell, Bothell, Washington

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Daniel A. Jaffe School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, University of Washington Bothell, Bothell, and Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

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John Mak School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York

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Crystal McClure School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, University of Washington Bothell, Bothell, and Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

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Athanasios Nenes Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

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Thien Khoi Nguyen Department of Environmental Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey

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Jeffrey R. Pierce Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

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Suzane de Sa School of Engineering and Applied Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Noelle E. Selin Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, and Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Rebecca A. Washenfelder Chemical Sciences Division, NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, and CIRES, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado

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Paul O. Wennberg Division of Engineering and Applied Science, and Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

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Xianling Zhou Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, and Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York

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Abstract

The Southeast Atmosphere Studies (SAS), which included the Southern Oxidant and Aerosol Study (SOAS); the Southeast Nexus (SENEX) study; and the Nitrogen, Oxidants, Mercury and Aerosols: Distributions, Sources and Sinks (NOMADSS) study, was deployed in the field from 1 June to 15 July 2013 in the central and eastern United States, and it overlapped with and was complemented by the Studies of Emissions, Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS) campaign. SAS investigated atmospheric chemistry and the associated air quality and climate-relevant particle properties. Coordinated measurements from six ground sites, four aircraft, tall towers, balloon-borne sondes, existing surface networks, and satellites provide in situ and remotely sensed data on trace-gas composition, aerosol physicochemical properties, and local and synoptic meteorology. Selected SAS findings indicate 1) dramatically reduced NOx concentrations have altered ozone production regimes; 2) indicators of “biogenic” secondary organic aerosol (SOA), once considered part of the natural background, were positively correlated with one or more indicators of anthropogenic pollution; and 3) liquid water dramatically impacted particle scattering while biogenic SOA did not. SAS findings suggest that atmosphere–biosphere interactions modulate ambient pollutant concentrations through complex mechanisms and feedbacks not yet adequately captured in atmospheric models. The SAS dataset, now publicly available, is a powerful constraint to develop predictive capability that enhances model representation of the response and subsequent impacts of changes in atmospheric composition to changes in emissions, chemistry, and meteorology.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

ADDITIONAL AFFILIATIONS: Carlton—Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California; Ambrose—College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire; Attwood—Droplet Measurement Technologies, Longmont, Colorado; Gratz—Environmental Program, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Nenes*—Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas, Patras, Greece, and Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, Palea Peteli, Greece

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Annmarie G. Carlton, agcarlto@uci.edu

A supplement to this article is available online (10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0048.2)

Abstract

The Southeast Atmosphere Studies (SAS), which included the Southern Oxidant and Aerosol Study (SOAS); the Southeast Nexus (SENEX) study; and the Nitrogen, Oxidants, Mercury and Aerosols: Distributions, Sources and Sinks (NOMADSS) study, was deployed in the field from 1 June to 15 July 2013 in the central and eastern United States, and it overlapped with and was complemented by the Studies of Emissions, Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS) campaign. SAS investigated atmospheric chemistry and the associated air quality and climate-relevant particle properties. Coordinated measurements from six ground sites, four aircraft, tall towers, balloon-borne sondes, existing surface networks, and satellites provide in situ and remotely sensed data on trace-gas composition, aerosol physicochemical properties, and local and synoptic meteorology. Selected SAS findings indicate 1) dramatically reduced NOx concentrations have altered ozone production regimes; 2) indicators of “biogenic” secondary organic aerosol (SOA), once considered part of the natural background, were positively correlated with one or more indicators of anthropogenic pollution; and 3) liquid water dramatically impacted particle scattering while biogenic SOA did not. SAS findings suggest that atmosphere–biosphere interactions modulate ambient pollutant concentrations through complex mechanisms and feedbacks not yet adequately captured in atmospheric models. The SAS dataset, now publicly available, is a powerful constraint to develop predictive capability that enhances model representation of the response and subsequent impacts of changes in atmospheric composition to changes in emissions, chemistry, and meteorology.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

ADDITIONAL AFFILIATIONS: Carlton—Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California; Ambrose—College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire; Attwood—Droplet Measurement Technologies, Longmont, Colorado; Gratz—Environmental Program, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Nenes*—Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas, Patras, Greece, and Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development, National Observatory of Athens, Palea Peteli, Greece

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Annmarie G. Carlton, agcarlto@uci.edu

A supplement to this article is available online (10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0048.2)

Supplementary Materials

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