Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 21111-21164, 2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Background ozone over Canada and the United States
E. Chan and R. J. Vet
Air Quality Research Division, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3H 5T4, Canada

Abstract. Planetary boundary layer (PBL) ozone temporal variations were investigated on diurnal, seasonal and decadal scales in various regions across Canada and the United States for the period 1997–2006. Background ozone is difficult to quantify and define through observations. In light of the importance of its estimates for achievable policy targets, evaluation of health impacts and relationship with climate, background ozone mixing ratios were estimated. Principal Component Analyses (PCA) were performed using 97 non-urban ozone sites for each season to define contiguous regions. Backward air parcel trajectories were used to systematically select the cleanest background air cluster associated with the lowest May–September 95th percentile for each site. Decadal ozone trends were estimated by season for each PCA-derived region using a~generalized linear mixed model (GLMM).

Background ozone mixing ratios were variable geographically and seasonally. For example, the mixing ratios annually ranged from 21 to 38, and 23 to 38 ppb for the continental Eastern Canada and Eastern US. The Pacific and Atlantic coastal regions typically had relatively low background levels ranging from 14 to 24, and 17 to 36 ppb, respectively. On the decadal scale, the direction and magnitude of trends are different in all seasons across the regions (−1.56 to +0.93 ppb/a). Trends increased in the Pacific region for all seasons. Background ozone decadal changes are shown to be masked by the much stronger regional signals in areas that have seen substantial reductions of ozone precursors since the early 2000s.

Citation: Chan, E. and Vet, R. J.: Background ozone over Canada and the United States, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 21111-21164, doi:10.5194/acpd-9-21111-2009, 2009.
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