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Keywords:

  • African ozone;
  • biogenic precursors;
  • biomass burning precursors;
  • industrial precursors;
  • mid-tropospheric ozone;
  • tropical ozone

Abstract

The primary source of the annual austral spring mid-tropospheric ozone maxima over the tropical South Atlantic has generally been assumed to be biomass burning. However, ozone precursor emissions from biogenic, lightning, and anthropogenic sources in subequatorial Africa before and during the ozone peak are shown to be comparable, if not greater, in magnitude to regional biomass burning production. Moreover, an investigation of the spatial and temporal characteristics of these ozone precursor sources (i.e. vegetative and microbial activity, lightning-induced generation, and anthropogenic emissions) suggests that these alternative sources can potentially make a substantial contribution to the seasonal ozone peak. This argument is supported by the practical limitations of atmospheric transport available to regionally produced ozone and ozone precursors.