Effect of regional precursor emission controls on long-range ozone transport – Part 1: Short-term changes in ozone air quality

West, J. Jason; Naik, Vaishali; Horowitz, Larry W.; Fiore, Arlene M.

Observations and models demonstrate that ozone and its precursors can be transported between continents and across oceans. We model the influences of 10% reductions in anthropogenic nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from each of nine world regions on surface ozone air quality in that region and all other regions. In doing so, we quantify the relative importance of long-range transport between all source-receptor pairs, for direct short-term ozone changes. We find that for population-weighted concentrations during the three-month "ozone-season", the strongest inter-regional influences are from Europe to the Former Soviet Union, East Asia to Southeast Asia, and Europe to Africa. The largest influences per unit of NOx reduced, however, are seen for source regions in the tropics and Southern Hemisphere, which we attribute mainly to greater sensitivity to changes in NOx in the lower troposphere, and secondarily to increased vertical convection to the free troposphere in tropical regions, allowing pollutants to be transported further. Results show, for example, that NOx reductions in North America are ~20% as effective per unit NOx in reducing ozone in Europe during summer, as NOx reductions from Europe itself. Reducing anthropogenic emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) and carbon monoxide (CO) by 10% in selected regions, can have as large an impact on long-range ozone transport as NOx reductions, depending on the source region. We find that for many source-receptor pairs, the season of greatest long-range influence does not coincide with the season when ozone is highest in the receptor region. Reducing NOx emissions in most source regions causes a larger decrease in export of ozone from the source region than in ozone production outside of the source region.


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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Ocean and Climate Physics
European Geosciences Union
Published Here
November 17, 2015