Observed suppression of ozone formation at extremely high temperatures due to chemical and biophysical feedbacks

Steinera, Allison L.; Davis, Adam J.; Sillman, Sanford; Owen, Robert C.; Michalak, Anna M.; Fiore, Arlene M.

Ground level ozone concentrations ([O3]) typically show a direct linear relationship with surface air temperature. Three decades of California measurements provide evidence of a statistically significant change in the ozone-temperature slope (ΔmO3-T) under extremely high temperatures (> 312 K). This ΔmO3-T leads to a plateau or decrease in [O3], reflecting the diminished role of nitrogen oxide sequestration by peroxyacetyl nitrates and reduced biogenic isoprene emissions at high temperatures. Despite inclusion of these processes in global and regional chemistry-climate models, a statistically significant change in ΔmO3-T has not been noted in prior studies. Future climate projections suggest a more frequent and spatially widespread occurrence of this ΔmO3-T response, confounding predictions of extreme ozone events based on the historically observed linear relationship.

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PNAS : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Ocean and Climate Physics
National Academy of Sciences
Published Here
November 23, 2015