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Jack Fishman, Fred M. Vukovich, Donald R. Cahoon, and Mark C. Shipham


A case study is presented which demonstrates that measurements of total ozone from a space platform can be used to study a widespread air pollution episode over the southeastern United States. In particular the synoptic-scale distribution of surface-level ozone obtained from an independent analysis of ground-based monitoring stations appears to be captured by the synoptic-scale distribution of total ozone, even though ≈90% of the total ozone is in the stratosphere. Additional analyses of upper air meteorological data other satellite imagery, and in situ aircraft measurements of ozone likewise support the fact that synoptic-scale variability of tropospheric ozone is primarily responsible for the observed variability in total ozone under certain conditions. The use of the type of analysis discussed in this study may provide an important technique for understanding the global budget of tropospheric ozone.

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John K. Creilson, Margaret R. Pippin, Bryana L. Henderson, Irene H. Ladd, Jack Fishman, Dana Votápková, and Ilona Krpcová

Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) is a worldwide, hands-on, primary and secondary school-based education and science program, which is developed to give students a chance to perform real science by making measurements, analyzing data, and participating in research through collaboration with scientists. As part of the GLOBE Surface Ozone Protocol, and with the assistance of the TEREZA Association in the Czech Republic, schools in the Czech Republic have been making and reporting daily measurements of surface ozone and surface meteorological data since 2001. Using a hand-held ozone monitor developed for GLOBE, students at several Czech schools have generated multiyear data records of surface ozone from 2001 to 2005. Analysis of the data shows that surface ozone levels were anomalously high during the summer of 2003 relative to other summers. These findings are consistent with the measurements of the European Environment Agency, which highlight the summer of 2003 as having exceptionally long-lasting and spatially extensive episodes of high surface ozone, especially during the first half of August. Further analysis of the summers prevailing meteorology shows not only that it was one of the hottest on record, a finding also seen in the student data, but the conditions for production of ozone were ideal. Findings such as these increase student, teacher, and scientist confidence in the utility of the GLOBE data for engaging budding scientists in the collection, analysis, and eventual interpretation of the data for inquiry-based education.

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Jassim Al-Saadi, James Szykman, R. Bradley Pierce, Chieko Kittaka, Doreen Neil, D. Allen Chu, Lorraine Remer, Liam Gumley, Elaine Prins, Lewis Weinstock, Clinton MacDonald, Richard Wayland, Fred Dimmick, and Jack Fishman

Accurate air quality forecasts can allow for mitigation of the health risks associated with high levels of air pollution. During September 2003, a team of NASA, NOAA, and EPA researchers demonstrated a prototype tool for improving fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air quality forecasts using satellite aerosol observations. Daily forecast products were generated from a near-real-time fusion of multiple input data products, including aerosol optical depth (AOD) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)/Earth Observing System (EOS) instrument on the NASA Terra satellite, PM2.5 concentration from over 300 state/local/national surface monitoring stations, meteorological fields from the NOAA/NCEP Eta Model, and fire locations from the NOAA/National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) Wildfire Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm (WF_ABBA) product. The products were disseminated via a Web interface to a small group of forecasters representing state and local air management agencies and the EPA. The MODIS data improved forecaster knowledge of synoptic-scale air pollution events, particularly over oceans and in regions devoid of surface monitors. Forecast trajectories initialized in regions of high AOD offered guidance for identifying potential episodes of poor air quality. The capability of this approach was illustrated with a case study showing that aerosol resulting from wildfires in the northwestern United States and southwestern Canada is transported across the continent to influence air quality in the Great Lakes region a few days later. The timing of this demonstration was selected to help improve the accuracy of the EPA's AIRNow ( next-day PM2.5 air quality index forecast, which began on 1 October 2003. Based on the positive response from air quality managers and forecasters, this prototype was expanded and transitioned to an operational provider during the summer of 2004.

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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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