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Evaluating Drought Responses of Surface Ozone Precursor Proxies: Variations with Land Cover Type, Precipitation, and Temperature: Data

Naimark, Jacob Genek; Fiore, Arlene M.; Jin, Xiaomeng; Wang, Yuxuan; Klovenski, Elizabeth; Braneon, Christian

Prior work suggests drought exacerbates US air quality by increasing surface ozone concentrations. We analyze 2005-2015 tropospheric column concentrations of two trace gases that serve as proxies for surface ozone precursors retrieved from the OMI/Aura satellite: nitrogen dioxide (ΩNO2; NOx proxy) and formaldehyde (ΩHCHO; VOC proxy). We find 3.5% and 7.7% summer drought enhancements (classified by SPEI) for ΩNO2 and ΩHCHO, respectively, corroborating signals previously extracted from ground-level observations. When we subset by land cover type (using MCD12Q1), the strongest ΩHCHO drought enhancement (10%) occurs in the woody savannas of the Southeast US. By isolating the influences of precipitation and temperature, we infer that enhanced biogenic VOC emissions in this region increase ΩHCHO independently with both high temperature and low precipitation during drought. The strongest ΩNO2 drought enhancement (6.0%) occurs over Midwest US croplands and grasslands, which we infer to reflect the sensitivity of soil NOx emissions to temperature.

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Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
Published Here
February 2, 2021