Academic Commons


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.

Geographic Areas


  • thumnail for PNAS-2010-Steiner-19685-90.pdf PNAS-2010-Steiner-19685-90.pdf application/pdf 2.19 MB Download File

Also Published In

PNAS : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Earth and Environmental Sciences
National Academy of Sciences
Published Here
November 23, 2015
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.