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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 29 Apr 2019

Submitted as: research article | 29 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Source attribution of European surface O3 using a tagged O3 mechanism

Aurelia Lupaşcu1 and Tim Butler1,2 Aurelia Lupaşcu and Tim Butler
  • 1Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam, 14467, Germany
  • 2Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Meteorologie, Berlin, Germany

Abstract. Tropospheric ozone (O3) is an important air pollutant that affects human health, ecosystems and climate. The contributions of O3 precursor emissions from different geographical source regions to the O3 concentration can help to quantify the effects of local versus remote transported precursors on the O3 concentration in a certain area. This study presents a “tagging” approach within the WRF-Chem model that attributes O3 concentration in several European receptor regions to nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from within and outside of Europe during April–September 2010.We also examine the contribution of these different precursor sources to various O3 metrics, and their exceedance events. Firstly, we show that the spatial distributions of simulated monthly mean MDA8 from tagged O3 sources regions and types for late spring, summer and early autumn 2010 varies with season. For summer conditions O3 production is dominated by national and intra-European sources, while in the late spring and early autumn intercontinental transported O3 is an important contributor to the total O3 concentration. We have also identified shipping activities in the Mediterranean Sea as an important source of O3 for the Mediterranean countries, as well as the main contributor to high MDA8 O3 concentration, modelled in the Mediterranean basin itself. Secondly, to have a better understanding of the origin of MDA8 O3 exceedances, we compare modelled and observed values of MDA8 O3 concentration in the “Alps” and “Germany-Benelux” receptor regions, revealing that the contribution from local sources is about 45 % and 38 % of modeled MDA8 O3 during the exceedances days respectively. By examining the relative contributions of remote NOx sources to modelled and observed O3 exceedance events, we determine that model underrepresentation of long-range O3 transport could be contributing to a general underestimation of modelled O3 exceedance events in the Germany-Benelux receptor region. Thirdly, we quantify the impact of local vs. non local NOx precursors on O3 production for each European receptor region using different O3 metrics. The comparison between mean, MDA8 and 95th percentile O3 metrics accentuate the importance of large contributions from locally-emitted NOx precursors to the high-end of the O3 distribution. When we compare the vegetation and health metrics, we notice that the SOMO35 and AOT40 indexes exhibit a rather similar behaviour, while the W126 index accentuates the importance of local emissions. Overall, this study highlights the importance of a tagging approach to quantify the contribution of local and remote sources to the MDA8 O3 concentration during several periods as well to different O3 metrics. Moreover, this method could be applied to assess different mitigation options.

Aurelia Lupaşcu and Tim Butler
Interactive discussion
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Aurelia Lupaşcu and Tim Butler
Aurelia Lupaşcu and Tim Butler
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