Impacts of midlatitude precursor emissions and local photochemistry on ozone abundances in the Arctic

T. W. Walker, D. B.A. Jones, M. Parrington, D. K. Henze, L. T. Murray, J. W. Bottenheim, K. Anlauf, J. R. Worden, K. W. Bowman, C. Shim, K. Singh, M. Kopacz, D. W. Tarasick, J. Davies, P. Von Der Gathen, A. M. Thompson, C. C. Carouge

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38 Scopus citations


We assess the impact of transport of pollution from midlatitudes on the abundance of ozone in the Arctic in summer 2006 using the GEOS-Chem global chemical transport model and its adjoint. We find that although the impact of midlatitude emissions on ozone abundances in the Arctic is at a maximum in fall and winter, in July transport from North America, Asia, and Europe together contributed about 25% of surface ozone abundances in the Arctic. Throughout the summer, the dominant source of ozone in the Arctic troposphere was photochemical production within the Arctic, which accounted for more than 50% of the ozone in the Arctic boundary layer and as much as 30%-40% of the ozone in the middle troposphere. An adjoint sensitivity analysis of the impact of NOx emissions on ozone at Alert shows that on synoptic time scales in both the lower and middle troposphere, ozone abundances are more sensitive to emissions between 50°N and 70°N, with important influences from anthropogenic, biomass burning, soil, and lightning sources. Although local surface NO x emissions contribute to ozone formation, transport of NO x in the form of peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) from outside the Arctic and from the upper troposphere also contributed to ozone production in the lower troposphere. We find that in late May and June the release of NOx from PAN decomposition accounted for 93% and 55% of ozone production at the Arctic surface, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberD01305
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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