Surface Ozone Background in the United States: Canadian and Mexican Pollution Influences
Le Sager, Philippe
Streets, David G.
Park, Rokjin J.
Gilliland, Alice B.
van Donkelaar, A.
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CitationWang, Huiqun, Daniel J. Jacob, Philippe Le Sager, David G. Streets, Rokjin J. Park, Alice B. Gilliland, and A. van Donkelaar. 2009. Surface ozone background in the United States: Canadian and Mexican pollution influences. Atmospheric Environment 43(6): 1310-1319.
AbstractWe use a global chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem) with 1° × 1° horizontal resolution to quantify the effects of anthropogenic emissions from Canada, Mexico, and outside North America on daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentrations in US surface air. Simulations for summer 2001 indicate mean North American and US background concentrations of 26 ± 8 ppb and 30 ± 8 ppb, as obtained by eliminating anthropogenic emissions in North America vs. in the US only. The US background never exceeds 60 ppb in the model. The Canadian and Mexican pollution enhancement averages 3 ± 4 ppb in the US in summer but can be occasionally much higher in downwind regions of the northeast and southwest, peaking at 33 ppb in upstate New York (on a day with 75 ppb total ozone) and 18 ppb in southern California (on a day with 68 ppb total ozone). The model is successful in reproducing the observed variability of ozone in these regions, including the occurrence and magnitude of high-ozone episodes influenced by transboundary pollution. We find that exceedances of the 75 ppb US air quality standard in eastern Michigan, western New York, New Jersey, and southern California are often associated with Canadian and Mexican pollution enhancements in excess of 10 ppb. Sensitivity simulations with 2020 emission projections suggest that Canadian pollution influence in the Northeast US will become comparable in magnitude to that from domestic power plants.
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