The first twenty years (1994-2014) of ozone soundings from Rapa Nui (27°S, 109°W, 51m a.s.l.)

Laura Gallardo, Adolfo HenríQuez, Anne M. Thompson, Roberto Rondanelli, Jorge Carrasco, Andrea Orfanoz-Cheuquelaf, Patricio Velá Squez

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Ozone (O3) soundings have been performed on Easter Island or Rapa Nui (27 °S, 109 °W, 51 m a.s.l.) since 1994 as part of the Global Atmospheric Watch Programme of the World Meteorological Organization. In this work, we analyse 260 soundings compiled over the period 1994-2014, and make the data available for the international community. We characterise O3 profiles over this remote area of the Pacific by means of statistical analyses that consider, on the one hand, a traditional climatology that describes the data in terms of seasonal cycles based on monthly averages and, on the other hand, a process-oriented analysis based on self-organising maps. Our analyses show the influence of both tropical and subtropical/mid-latitude air masses at Rapa Nui. The former occurs in summer and fall when convective conditions prevail, and the latter in late winter and spring when subsiding conditions are recurrent. The occurrence of stratospheric intrusions in late winter and spring in connection with deep troughs and the presence of the subtropical jet stream is also apparent in the data set. The tropospheric ozone column is in good agreement with the corresponding data derived from satellites but with a systematic overestimate of summer and fall values. There is evidence of an upward trend in ozone near the surface, which suggests the impact of local pollution. We look forward to an enhancement of the Rapa Nui observing site, given its location that offers a privileged position to observe climate change over the sparsely sampled and vast South Pacific Ocean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number29484
JournalTellus, Series B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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