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© 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.

Research article 09 May 2019

Research article | 09 May 2019

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

How waviness in the circulation changes surface ozone: a viewpoint using local finite-amplitude wave activity

Wenxiu Sun1,a, Peter Hess1, Gang Chen2, and Simone Tilmes3 Wenxiu Sun et al.
  • 1Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca NY, USA
  • 2Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles CA, USA
  • 3National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder CO, USA
  • acurrently at: BloomSky Inc., Burlingame CA, USA

Abstract. Local finite-amplitude wave activity (LWA) measures the waviness of the local flow. In this work we relate the anticyclonic part of LWA, AWA (Anticyclonic Wave Activity), to surface ozone in summertime over the U.S. on interannual to decadal scales. Interannual covariance between AWA diagnosed from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast Era-Interim reanalysis and ozone measured at EPA Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNET) stations are analyzed using Maximum Covariance Analysis (MCA). The first two modes in the MCA analysis explain 84 % of the covariance between the AWA and MDA8 (Maximum Daily 8h-Average ozone). Over most of the U.S. we find a significant relationship between ozone at any specific location and AWA over the analysis domain (24° N–53° N, and 130° W–65° W) using a linear regression model. This relationship is diagnosed (i) using reanalysis meteorology and measured ozone from CASTNET, or (ii) using meteorology and ozone simulated by the Community Atmospheric Model version 4 with chemistry (CAM4-chem) within the Community Earth System Model (CESM1). Using the linear regression model we find that meteorological biases in AWA in CAM4-chem, as compared to the reanalysis meteorology, induces ozone changes between −4 and +8 ppb in CAM4-chem. Future changes (circa 2100) in AWA are diagnosed in four different climate change simulations in CAM4-chem, simulations which differ in their initial conditions and in one case in their reactive species emissions. All future simulations have enhanced AWA over the U.S., with the maximum enhancement in the southwest. As diagnosed using the linear regression model the future change in AWA is predicted to cause a corresponding change in ozone ranging up to 6 ppb. The location of this change depends on subtle features of the change in AWA. In many locations this change explains the magnitude and the sign of the overall simulated future ozone change.

Wenxiu Sun et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Wenxiu Sun et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Using both observations and a chemistry climate-model we establish that in most locations changes in the waviness of the 500 hPa flow field, as measured by the local anticyclonic wave activity (AWA), explains a significant fraction of the interannual variability in surface ozone over the United States. In addition, we find that the change in AWA in a future climate (circa 2100) is predicted to cause a change in surface ozone ranging up to 6 ppb.
Using both observations and a chemistry climate-model we establish that in most locations...