Investigation of the summer 2018 European ozone air pollution episodes using novel satellite data and modelling

Pope, Richard J.; Kerridge, Brian J.; Chipperfield, Martyn P.; Siddans, Richard; Latter, Barry G.; Ventress, Lucy J.; Pimlott, Matilda A.; Feng, Wuhu; Comyn-Platt, Edward; Hayman, Garry D. ORCID:; Arnold, Stephen R.; Graham, Ailish M.. 2023 Investigation of the summer 2018 European ozone air pollution episodes using novel satellite data and modelling. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 23 (20). 13235-13253.

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In the summer of 2018, Europe experienced an intense heat wave which coincided with several persistent large-scale ozone (O3) pollution episodes. Novel satellite data of lower tropospheric column O3 from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2 (GOME-2) and Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) on the MetOp satellite showed substantial enhancements in 2018 relative to other years since 2012. Surface observations also showed ozone enhancements across large regions of continental Europe in summer 2018 compared to 2017. Enhancements to surface temperature and the O3 precursor gases carbon monoxide and methanol in 2018 were co-retrieved from MetOp observations by the same scheme. This analysis was supported by the TOMCAT chemistry transport model (CTM) to investigate processes driving the observed O3 enhancements. Through several targeted sensitivity experiments we show that meteorological processes, and emissions to a secondary order, were important for controlling the elevated O3 concentrations at the surface. However, mid-tropospheric (~500 hPa) O3 enhancements were dominated by meteorological processes. We find that contributions from stratospheric O3 intrusions ranged between 15–40 %. Analysis of back trajectories indicates that the import of O3-enriched air masses into Europe originated over the North Atlantic substantially increasing O3 in the 500 hPa layer during summer 2018.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Hydro-climate Risks (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1680-7324
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Atmospheric Sciences
Data and Information
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Date made live: 02 Nov 2023 11:03 +0 (UTC)

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