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Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Experiment probes elevated ozone levels over the tropical south Atlantic Ocean



Until late 1992, the atmosphere off the west coast of southern Africa was one of the least studied regions of the planet. From a meteorological point of view, the area is devoid of any interesting weather features, including tropical storm formation and monsoonal circulations. It is dominated by a vast center of subtropical high pressure that inhibits the formation of any convective activity.

However, from an atmospheric chemistry point of view, an interesting feature was discovered in 1990 when satellite data revealed a region of enhanced tropospheric ozone off southern Africa's west coast that was at least as large as the smog plumes emanating from North America, Europe, and Asia [Fishman et al., 1990; Figure 1]. While the Northern Hemisphere high tropospheric ozone concentrations were most pronounced in the summer, the feature in the southern subtropics was highest during austral spring.

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