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Christine L. Haman, Barry Lefer, and Gary A. Morris

Abstract

Boundary layer height is estimated during a 21-month period in Houston, Texas, using continuous ceilometer observations and the minimum-gradient method. A comparison with over 60 radiosondes indicates overall agreement between ceilometer- and radiosonde-estimated PBL and residual layer heights. Additionally, the ceilometer-estimated PBL heights agree well with 31 vertical profiles of ozone. Difficulty detecting the PBL height occurs immediately following a frontal system with precipitation, during periods with high wind speeds, and in the early evening when convection is weakening, a new stable surface layer is forming, and the lofted aerosols detected by the lidar do not represent the PBL. Long-term diurnal observations of the PBL height indicate nocturnal PBL heights range from approximately 100 to 300 m throughout the year, while the convective PBL displays more seasonal and daily variability typically ranging from 1100 m in the winter to 2000 m in the summer.

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Jack Fishman, Kevin W. Bowman, John P. Burrows, Andreas Richter, Kelly V. Chance, David P. Edwards, Randall V. Martin, Gary A. Morris, R. Bradley Pierce, Jerald R. Ziemke, Jassim A. Al-Saadi, John K. Creilson, Todd K. Schaack, and Anne M. Thompson

We review the progress of tropospheric trace gas observations and address the need for additional measurement capabilities as recommended by the National Research Council. Tropospheric measurements show pollution in the Northern Hemisphere as a result of fossil fuel burning and a strong seasonal dependence with the largest amounts of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide in the winter and spring. In the summer, when photochemistry is most intense, photochemically generated ozone is found in large concentrations over and downwind from where anthropogenic sources are largest, such as the eastern United States and eastern China. In the tropics and the subtropics, where photon flux is strong throughout the year, trace gas concentrations are driven by the abundance of the emissions. The largest single tropical source of pollution is biomass burning, as can be seen readily in carbon monoxide measurements, but lightning and biogenic trace gases may also contribute to trace gas variability. Although substantive progress has been achieved in seasonal and global mapping of a few tropospheric trace gases, satellite trace gas observations with considerably better temporal and spatial resolution are essential to forecasting air quality at the spatial and temporal scales required by policy makers. The concurrent use of atmospheric composition measurements for both scientific and operational purposes is a new paradigm for the atmospheric chemistry community. The examples presented illustrate both the promise and challenge of merging satellite information with in situ observations in state-of-the-art data assimilation models.

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Anne M. Thompson, Herman G. J. Smit, Jacquelyn C. Witte, Ryan M. Stauffer, Bryan J. Johnson, Gary Morris, Peter von der Gathen, Roeland Van Malderen, Jonathan Davies, Ankie Piters, Marc Allaart, Françoise Posny, Rigel Kivi, Patrick Cullis, Nguyen Thi Hoang Anh, Ernesto Corrales, Tshidi Machinini, Francisco R. da Silva, George Paiman, Kennedy Thiong’o, Zamuna Zainal, George B. Brothers, Katherine R. Wolff, Tatsumi Nakano, Rene Stübi, Gonzague Romanens, Gert J. R. Coetzee, Jorge A. Diaz, Sukarni Mitro, Maznorizan Mohamad, and Shin-Ya Ogino

Abstract

The ozonesonde is a small balloon-borne instrument that is attached to a standard radiosonde to measure profiles of ozone from the surface to 35 km with ∼100-m vertical resolution. Ozonesonde data constitute a mainstay of satellite calibration and are used for climatologies and analysis of trends, especially in the lower stratosphere where satellites are most uncertain. The electrochemical concentration cell (ECC) ozonesonde has been deployed at ∼100 stations worldwide since the 1960s, with changes over time in manufacture and procedures, including details of the cell chemical solution and data processing. As a consequence, there are biases among different stations and discontinuities in profile time series from individual site records. For 22 years the Jülich (Germany) Ozonesonde Intercomparison Experiment (JOSIE) has periodically tested ozonesondes in a simulation chamber designated the World Calibration Centre for Ozonesondes (WCCOS) by WMO. During October–November 2017 a JOSIE campaign evaluated the sondes and procedures used in Southern Hemisphere Additional Ozonesondes (SHADOZ), a 14-station sonde network operating in the tropics and subtropics. A distinctive feature of the 2017 JOSIE was that the tests were conducted by operators from eight SHADOZ stations. Experimental protocols for the SHADOZ sonde configurations, which represent most of those in use today, are described, along with preliminary results. SHADOZ stations that follow WMO-recommended protocols record total ozone within 3% of the JOSIE reference instrument. These results and prior JOSIEs demonstrate that regular testing is essential to maintain best practices in ozonesonde operations and to ensure high-quality data for the satellite and ozone assessment communities.

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