Spatial and temporal assessment of sources contributing to the annual austral spring mid-tropospheric ozone maxima over the tropical South Atlantic

Authors


Robert J Swap, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA, fax 434 924 3323, e-mail: swapper@virginia.edu

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.

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