The Characterization of an Air Pollution Episode Using Satellite Total Ozone Measurements

Jack Fishman Atmospheric Sciences Division, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23665

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Fred M. Vukovich Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

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Donald R. Cahoon PRC-Kentron Incorporated, Hampton, VA 23666

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Mark C. Shipham Atmospheric Sciences Division, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton VA 23665

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Abstract

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.

Abstract

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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