Long-term trends of surface ozone and its influencing factors at the Mt Waliguan GAW station, China – Part 2: The roles of anthropogenic emissions and climate variability

Xu, Wanyun; Xu, Xiaobin; Lin, Meiyun; Lin, Weili; Tarasick, David; Tang, Jie; Ma, Jianzhong; Zheng, Xiangdong

Inter-annual variability and long-term trends in tropospheric ozone are both environmental and climate concerns. Ozone measured at Mt Waliguan Observatory (WLG, 3816 m a.s.l.) on the Tibetan Plateau over the period of 1994–2013 has increased significantly by 0.2–0.3 ppbv yrinline-formula−1 during spring and autumn but shows a much smaller trend in winter and no significant trend in summer. Here we explore the factors driving the observed ozone changes at WLG using backward trajectory analysis, chemistry–climate model hindcast simulations (GFDL AM3), a trajectory-mapped ozonesonde data set, and several climate indices. A stratospheric ozone tracer implemented in GFDL AM3 indicates that stratosphere-to-troposphere transport (STT) can explain inline-formula∼ 60 % of the simulated springtime ozone increase at WLG, consistent with an increase in the NW air-mass frequency inferred from the trajectory analysis. Enhanced STT associated with the strengthening of the mid-latitude jet stream contributes to the observed high ozone anomalies at WLG during the springs of 1999 and 2012. During autumn, observations at WLG are more heavily influenced by polluted air masses originating from South East Asia than in the other seasons. Rising Asian anthropogenic emissions of ozone precursors are the key driver of increasing autumnal ozone observed at WLG, as supported by the GFDL AM3 model with time-varying emissions, which captures the observed ozone increase (0.26 inline-formula± 0.11 ppbv yrinline-formula−1). AM3 simulates a greater ozone increase of 0.38 inline-formula± 0.11 ppbv yrinline-formula−1 at WLG in autumn under conditions with strong transport from South East Asia and shows no significant ozone trend in autumn when anthropogenic emissions are held constant in time. During summer, WLG is mostly influenced by easterly air masses, but these trajectories do not extend to the polluted regions of eastern China and have decreased significantly over the last 2 decades, which likely explains why summertime ozone measured at WLG shows no significant trend despite ozone increases in eastern China. Analysis of the Trajectory-mapped Ozonesonde data set for the Stratosphere and Troposphere (TOST) and trajectory residence time reveals increases in direct ozone transport from the eastern sector during autumn, which adds to the autumnal ozone increase. We further examine the links of ozone variability at WLG to the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO), the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM), and the sunspot cycle. Our results suggest that the 2–3-, 3–7-, and 11-year periodicities are linked to the QBO, EASM index, and sunspot cycle, respectively. A multivariate regression analysis is performed to quantify the relativepage774 contributions of various factors to surface ozone concentrations at WLG. Through an observational and modelling analysis, this study demonstrates the complex relationships between surface ozone at remote locations and its dynamical and chemical influencing factors.

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Xu, Wanyun / Xu, Xiaobin / Lin, Meiyun / et al: Long-term trends of surface ozone and its influencing factors at the Mt Waliguan GAW station, China – Part 2: The roles of anthropogenic emissions and climate variability. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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