Factors controlling tropospheric O3, OH, NO x and SO2 over the tropical Pacific during PEM-Tropics B


  • Yuhang Wang,

  • Shaw C. Liu,

  • Paul H. Wine,

  • Douglas D. Davis,

  • Scott T. Sandholm,

  • Eillot L. Atlas,

  • Melody A. Avery,

  • Donald R. Blake,

  • Nicola J. Blake,

  • William H. Brune,

  • Brian G. Heikes,

  • Glen W. Sachse,

  • Richard E. Shetter,

  • Hanwant B. Singh,

  • Robert W. Talbot,

  • David Tan


Observations over the tropical Pacific during the Pacific Exploratory Mission (PEM)-Tropics B experiment (March-April 1999) are analyzed. Concentrations of CO and long-lived nonmethane hydrocarbons in the region are significantly enhanced due to transport of pollutants from northern industrial continents. This pollutant import also enhances moderately O3 concentrations but not NOx concentrations. It therefore tends to depress OH concentrations over the tropical Pacific. These effects contrast to the large enhancements of O3 and NOx concentrations and the moderate increase of OH concentrations due to biomass burning outflow during the PEM-Tropics A experiment (September-October 1996). Observed CH3I concentrations, as in PEM-Tropics A, indicate that convective mass outflux in the middle and upper troposphere is largely independent of altitude over the tropical Pacific. Constraining a one-dimensional model with CH3I observations yields a 10-day timescale for convective turnover of the free troposphere, a factor of 2 faster than during PEM-Tropics A. Model simulated HO2, CH2O, H2O2, and CH3OOH concentrations are generally in agreement with observations. However, simulated OH concentrations are lower (∼25%) than observations above 6 km. Whereas models tend to overestimate previous field measurements, simulated HNO3 concentrations during PEM-Tropics B are too low (a factor of 2–4 below 6 km) compared to observations. Budget analyses indicate that chemical production of O3 accounts for only 50% of chemical loss; significant transport of O3 into the region appears to take place within the tropics. Convective transport Of CH3OOH enhances the production of HOx and O3 in the upper troposphere, but this effect is offset by HOx loss due to the scavenging of H2O2. Convective transport and scavenging of reactive nitrogen species imply a necessary source of 0.4–1 Tg yr−1 of NOx in the free troposphere (above 4 km) over the tropics. A large fraction of the source could be from marine lightning. Oxidation of DMS transported by convection from the boundary layer could explain the observed free tropospheric SO2 concentrations over the tropical Pacific. This source of DMS due to convection, however, would imply in the model free tropospheric concentrations much higher than observed. The model overestimate cannot be reconciled using recent kinetics measurements of the DMS-OH adduct reaction at low pressures and temperatures and may reflect enhanced OH oxidation of DMS during convection.