Synoptic influences on springtime tropospheric O3 and CO over the North American export region observed by TES

J. Hegarty, H. Mao, R. Talbot
2009 Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics  
The relationship between synoptic circulation patterns over the western North Atlantic Ocean in spring (March, April, and May) and tropospheric O 3 and CO was investigated using retrievals from the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) for 2005 and 2006. Seasonal composites of TES retrievals reprocessed to remove the artificial geographic structure added from the a priori revealed a channel of slightly elevated O 3 (>55 ppbv) and CO (>115 ppbv) at the 681 hPa retrieval level between 30 • N
more » ... d 45 • N extending from North America out over the Atlantic Ocean. Ozone and CO in this region were correlated at r=0.22 with a slope value of 0.13 mol mol −1 indicative of the overall impact of photochemical chemical processes in North American continental export. Composites of TES retrievals for the six predominant circulation patterns identified as map types from sea level pressure fields of the NCEP FNL analyses showed large variability in the distribution of tropospheric O 3 . Map types MAM2 and MAM3 featuring cyclones near the US east coast produced the greatest export to the lower free troposphere with O 3 >65 ppbv and a relatively well-defined O 3 -CO correlation (slope values near 0.20 mol mol −1 ). The ensembles of HYSPLIT backward trajectories indicated that the high O 3 levels were possibly a result of pollutants lofted to the free troposphere by the warm conveyor belt (WCB) of a cyclone. An important finding was that pollutant export occurred in the main WCB branch to the east of the cyclone and in a secondary branch circling to the back of the cyclone center. Conversely, a map type featuring a large anticyclone dominating the flow over the US east coast (MAM6) restricted export with O 3 levels generally <55 ppbv and CO levels generally <110 ppbv. There was also evidence of stratospheric intrusions particularly to the north of 45 • N in the 316 hPa composites predominately Correspondence to: J. Hegarty ( for MAM1 which featured a large cyclone near Newfoundland. However, the concurrence of these intrusions with pollutant export, specifically in the southwestern North Atlantic Ocean, made it difficult to delineate their respective contributions to the 681 hPa O 3 composites. Published by Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union.
doi:10.5194/acp-9-3755-2009 fatcat:xkbdmejee5grzkpqtyvvph2xk4