Chemical transport model ozone simulations for spring 2001 over the western Pacific: Regional ozone production and its global impacts



[1] The spatial and temporal variation in ozone production over major source regions in East Asia during the NASA Transport and Chemical Evolution over the Pacific (TRACE-P) measurement campaign in spring 2001 is assessed using a global chemical transport model. There is a strong latitudinal gradient in ozone production in springtime, driven by regional photochemistry, which rapidly diminishes as the season progresses. The great variability in meteorological conditions characteristic of East Asia in springtime leads to large daily variability in regional ozone formation, but we find that it has relatively little impact on the total global production. We note that transport processes effectively modulate and thus stabilize total ozone production through their influence over its location. However, the impact on the global ozone burden, important for assessing the effects of precursor emissions on tropospheric oxidizing capacity and climate, is sensitive to local meteorology through the effects of location on chemical lifetime. Stagnant, anticyclonic conditions conducive to substantial boundary layer ozone production typically allow little lifting of precursors into the free troposphere where greater ozone production could occur, and the consequent shorter chemical lifetime for ozone leads to relatively small impacts on global ozone. Conversely, cyclonic conditions with heavy cloud cover suppressing regional ozone production are often associated with substantial cloud convection, enhancing subsequent production in the free troposphere where chemical lifetimes are longer, and the impacts on global ozone are correspondingly greater. We find that ozone formation in the boundary layer and free troposphere outside the region of precursor emissions dominates total gross production from these sources in springtime, and that it makes a big contribution to the long range transport of ozone, which is greatest in this season.