Problems regarding the tropospheric O3 residual method and its interpretation in Fishman et al. (2003)
A. D. J. de Laat and I. Aben
National Institute for Space Research (SRON) Utrecht, The Netherlands
Received: 15 Sep 2003 – Discussion started: 14 Nov 2003
Abstract. In this article we will show that the Total Ozone Residuals (TOR) method as presented by Fishman et al. (2003) contains an erroneous assumption, due to which the TOR as presented in this article reflects mainly a tropospheric O3 climatology (Logan, 1999), scaled to the layer between the surface and the tropopause height, rather than a satellite measured TOR. We will show that it is possible to obtain a tropospheric O3 column that is very similar to what is being presented in Fishman et al. (2003), solely based on the Logan (1999) tropospheric O3 climatology and an estimate for the tropopause heights without using satellite data. Furthermore, we will show that one of the interpretations of observed O3 variability (high TOR values over Southeast Asia) is not the result of pollution, but primarily of tropopause height variations. We suggest adjusting the method in such a way that the final retrieved TOR product becomes independent of the actual values of the Logan (1999) O3 climatology. The proposed adjustments are also more in line with the original methodology suggested by Fishman and Balok (1999) in a previous paper. We furthermore show that the assumption that the stratospheric O3 column is nearly constant within a 5-day period is not always valid. This can introduce errors in the final TOR product, although we recognize that these errors may become small when averaging the TOR product over longer periods of time. However, we feel that a detailed study on this assumption is also needed.
de Laat, A. D. J. and Aben, I.: Problems regarding the tropospheric O3 residual method and its interpretation in Fishman et al. (2003), Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 3, 5777-5802, doi:10.5194/acpd-3-5777-2003, 2003.