Ozone production potential following convective redistribution of biomass burning emissions

Kenneth E. Pickering, Anne Mee Thompson, John R. Scala, Wei Kuo Tao, Joanne Simpson

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The effects of deep convection on the potential for forming ozone ("ozone production potential") in the free troposphere have been simulated for regions where the trace gas composition is influenced by biomass burning. Cloud dynamical and photochemical simulations based on observations in 1980 and 1985 Brazilian campaigns form the basis of a sensitivity study of the ozone production potential under differing conditions. The photochemical fate of pollutants actually entrained in a cumulus event of August 1985 during NASA/GTE/ABLE 2A (Case 1) is compared to photochemical ozone production that could have occurred if the same storm had been located closer to regions of savanna burning (Case 2) and forest burning (Case 3). In each case studied, the ozone production potential is calculated for a 24-hour period following convective redistribution of ozone precursors and compared to ozone production in the absence of convection. In all cases there is considerably more ozone formed in the middle and upper troposphere when convection has redistributed NOx, hydrocarbons and CO compared to the case of no convection. In the August 1985 ABLE 2A event, entrainment of a layer polluted with biomass burning into a convective squall line changes the free tropospheric cloud outflow column (5-13 km) ozone production potential from net destruction to net production. If it is assumed that the same cloud dynamics occur directly over regions of savanna burning, ozone production rates in the middle and upper troposphere are much greater. Diurnally averaged ozone production following convection may reach 7 ppbv/day averaged over the layer from 5-13 km-compared to typical free tropospheric concentrations of 25-30 ppbv O3 during nonpolluted conditions in ABLE 2A. Convection over a forested region where isoprene as well as hydrocarbons from combustion can be transported into the free troposphere leads to yet higher amounts of ozone production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-313
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Atmospheric Chemistry
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Atmospheric Science


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