The Derivation of Tropospheric Column Ozone Using the TOR Approach and Mapping Technique
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Tropospheric ozone columns (TCOs) derived from differences between the Dutch-Finnish Aura Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) measurements of the total atmospheric ozone column and the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) measurements of stratospheric ozone columns are discussed. Because the measurements by these two instruments are not spatially coincident, interpolation techniques, with emphasis on mapping the stratospheric columns in space and time using the relationships between lower stratospheric ozone and potential vorticity (PV) and geopotential heights (Z), are evaluated at mid-latitudes. It is shown that this PV mapping procedure produces somewhat better agreement in comparisons with ozonesonde measurements, particularly in winter, than does simple linear interpolation of the MLS stratospheric columns or the use of typical coincidence criteria at mid-latitudes. The OMI/MLS derived tropospheric columns are calculated to be 4 Dobson units (DU) smaller than the sonde measured columns at mid-latitudes. Standard deviations between the derived tropospheric columns and those measured by ozonesondes are 9 DU (30%) annually but they are just 6 DU (15%) in summer. Uncertainties in the interpolated MLS stratospheric columns are likely to be the primary cause of these standard deviations. An important advantage of the PV mapping approach is that it works well when MLS data are missing (e.g., when an orbit of measurements is missing). In the comparisons against ozonesonde measurements, it provides up to twice as many comparisons compared to the other techniques. The OMI/MLS derived tropospheric ozone columns have been compared with corresponding columns based on the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) measurements, and Regional chEmical trAnsport Model (REAM) simulations. The variability of tropospheric ozone columns has been examined for spring and summer 2005 over North America and the surrounding oceans. Comparisons of monthly mean distributions show good agreements between OMI/MLS tropospheric ozone columns, REAM columns, and TES columns. Two six-day periods in March have been selected to study the periodic TCO enhancements in two regions, around the Baja peninsula (Mexico) and over the West Coast of California. Thirteen-day back trajectories and daily maps of carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone from GEOS-CHEM and OMI/MLS have been used to investigate the influence of cross-Pacific transport. It is concluded that in the first period of the case study, the high ozone concentrations in mid and lower troposphere over the West Coast of California have been under the influence of cross-Pacific transport. Meteorological fields indicate that the high ozone concentrations in the upper troposphere over the West Coast of California and the high TCOs over the Baja peninsula are associated with stratospheric intrusions through a deep Rossby wave breaking event. The correlations between REAM TCOs and surface ozone from Environmental Protection Agency ground network measurements indicate that the TCO enhancement over the West Coast is associated with an increase of surface ozone. The correlations of REAM TCOs with geopotential height, wind fields, and tropopause height during the case study period suggest that TCO enhancement is best characterized in springtime by decreases of geopotential height on the 500 mb surface.