Understanding Northern Hemisphere (NH) Summer Season Tropospheric Ozone Variability across the Northern Tropical Atlantic through Focused Upstream/Downstream Campaigns

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project seeks to understand processes associated with tropospheric ozone variability across the northern tropical Atlantic Ocean between West Africa and the Caribbean during the summer of 2010. In particular, ozonesonde measurements will be made at Sao Vicente, Cape Verde; Dakar, Senegal and Barbados. Weekly ozonesonde launches and two intensive operations periods (IOPs) are planned with IOP1 occurring in June and IOP2 occurring during August/September. The focus of IOP1 is on ozone depletion associated with the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) and the enhancement of ozone in the boundary layer in association with a soil nitrogen oxides pulse from early rain events after the dry season in sub-Saharan Africa. The focus of IOP2 is on ozone enhancement associated with lightning-produced nitrogen oxides from African Easterly Waves (AEWs) and boundary layer ozone depletion associated with surface deposition. The measurements will take advantage of additional data from three hurricane research field campaigns during August/September, and a focused aerosol, microphysics, precipitation field campaign at Barbados. Surface ozone, dust measurements and other measurements (ceilometers, lidar, surface nitrogen oxides, radar) at Cape Verde and Barbados are also expected to augment data derived from this project. Weather Research and Forecasting with Chemistry (WRF-CHEM) model forecasts for dust and AEWs will be produced on a daily basis during the campaign to help target ozonesonde launches.

This program will provide opportunities for professional development for up to ten underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students in the atmospheric sciences and related physical sciences. Students will be divided up into teams and will be responsible for ozonesonde preparation, forecast discussions, and ozonesonde/radiosonde launches and will participate in the daily briefings via Skype at the three locations. Students will be taught ozonesonde preparation and ozonesonde/radiosonde launch procedures. One graduate student at Howard University will be supported along with a postdoctoral fellow. Research opportunities through collaboration for faculty and students will occur with the Caribbean Institute for Hydrology and Meteorology in Barbados and continued collaboration is expected with the Laboratory for Atmospheric-Oceanic Physics - Simeon Fongang at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal. Outreach activities will be sought with institutions on Sao Vicente Island, Cape Verde. This research represents an opportunity to combine atmospheric chemistry, aerosol science and tropical meteorology, exposing students to the possible synergy that exists amongst these sub-disciplines. The basic research will build capacity in Senegal for long-term aerosol and surface ozone measurements that have applications not only to atmospheric chemistry and climate forcing but also to respiratory disease and public health.

Effective start/end date6/15/102/28/15


  • National Science Foundation: $478,161.00


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