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The influence of weather-driven processes on tropospheric ozone


Kumar,  Vinod
Satellite Remote Sensing, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;


Pozzer,  Andrea
Atmospheric Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Emmerichs, T., Franco, B., Wespes, C., Kumar, V., Pozzer, A., Rosanka, S., et al. (2021). The influence of weather-driven processes on tropospheric ozone. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21. doi:10.5194/acp-2021-584.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-2B94-0
Near-surface ozone is an harmful air pollutant, which is determined to a considerable extent by weather-controlled processes, and may be significantly impacted by water vapour forming complexes with peroxy radicals. The role of water in the reaction of HO2 radical with nitrogen oxides is known from the literature, and in current models the water complex is considered by assuming a linear dependence on water concentrations. In fact, recent experimental evidence has been published, showing the significant role of water on the kinetics of one of the most important reaction for ozone chemistry, namely NO2 + OH. Here, the available kinetic data for the HOx + NOx reactions have been included in the atmospheric chemistry model ECHAM5/MESSy (EMAC) to test its global significance. Among the modified kinetics, the newly added HNO3 channel from HO2 + NO, dominates, significantly reducing NO2. A major removal process of near-surface ozone is dry deposition accounting for 20 % of the total tropospheric ozone loss mostly occurring over vegetation. However, parameterizations for modelling dry deposition represent a major source of uncertainty for tropospheric ozone simulations. This potentially belongs to the reasons why global models, such as EMAC used here, overestimate ozone with respect to observations. In fact, the employed parameterization is hardly sensitive to local meteorological conditions (e.g., humidity) and lacks non-stomatal deposition. In this study, a dry deposition scheme including these features have been used in EMAC, affecting not only the deposition of ozone but of its precursors, resulting in lower chemical production of ozone. Additionally, we improved the emissions of isoprene and nitrous acid (HONO). Namely, for isoprene emissions we have accounted for the impact of drought stress which confers a higher model sensitivity to meteorology leading to reduced annual emissions down to 32 %. For HONO, we have implemented soil emissions, which depend on soil moisture and thus on precipitation. We estimate for the first time a global source strength of 7 Tg(N) a−1. Furthermore, the usage of a parameterization for the production of lightning NOx that depends on cloud top height contributes to a more realistic representation of NO2 columns over remote oceans with respect to the satellite measurements of the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI). The combination of all the model modifications reduces the simulated global ozone burden by ≈ 20 % to 337 Tg, which is in better agreement with recent estimates. By comparing simulation results with measurements from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) and the Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report (TOAR) databases (of 2009) we demonstrate an overall reduction of the ozone bias by a factor of 2.