An evaluation of the ability of the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) to...

Shen, L., D. Jacob, X. Liu, G. Huang, K. Li, H. Liao, and T. Wang (2019), An evaluation of the ability of the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) to observe boundary layer ozone pollution across China: application to 2005–2017 ozone trends, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 6551-6560, doi:10.5194/acp-19-6551-2019.

Nadir-viewing satellite observations of tropospheric ozone in the UV have been shown to have some sensitivity to boundary layer ozone pollution episodes, but so far they have not yet been compared to surface ozone observations collected by large-scale monitoring networks. Here we use 2013–2017 surface ozone data from China’s new Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) network of

∼ 1000 sites, together with vertical profiles from ozonesondes and aircraft, to quantify the ability of tropospheric ozone retrievals from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and to detect boundary layer ozone pollution in China. We focus on summer when ozone pollution in China is most severe and when OMI has the strongest sensitivity. After subtracting the Pacific background, we find that the 2013–2017 mean OMI ozone enhancements over eastern China have strong spatial correlation with the corresponding multiyear means in the surface afternoon observations (R = 0.73), and that OMI can estimate these multiyear means in summer afternoon surface ozone with a precision of 8 ppb. The OMI data show significantly higher values on observed surface ozone episode days (> 82 ppb) than on non-episode days. Day-to-day correlations with surface ozone are much weaker due to OMI noise and are stronger for sites in southern China (<34◦ N; R = 0.3–0.6) than in northern China (R = 0.1–0.3) because of weaker retrieval sensitivity and larger upper tropospheric variability in the north. Ozonesonde data show that much of the variability of OMI ozone over southern China in summer is driven by the boundary layer. Comparison of 2005– 2009 and 2013–2017 OMI data indicates that mean summer afternoon surface ozone in southern China (including urban and rural regions) has increased by 3.5 ± 3.0 ppb over the 8year period and that the number of episode days per summer has increased by 2.2 ±0.4 (as diagnosed by an extreme value model), generally consistent with the few long-term surface records. Ozone increases have been particularly large in the Yangtze River Delta and in the Hubei, Guangxi and Hainan provinces.

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Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)
Aura OMI