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Comparison of Scientific Findings from Major Ozone Field Studies in North America and Europe

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Abstract: During the past decade, nearly 600 million dollars were invested in more than 30 major field studies in North America and Europe examining tropospheric ozone chemistry, meteorology, precursor emissions, and modeling. Most of these studies were undertaken to provide new or refined knowledge about ozone accumulation and to assist in the development of economical and effective emissions management practices for ozone. In this paper, we describe a selection of field research programs conducted under a wide range of geographical and climatological conditions in North America and Europe. The designs of these studies were generally similar, employing a combination of ground-based observation networks, upper-air sampling, and meteorological observations. Analysis and interpretation of the resulting data were combined with improved inventories of ozone precursor emissions and air quality modeling to develop new or enhanced knowledge about photochemical processes under various tropospheric conditions. The scientific results from these studies contained few surprises; in fact, they generally affirmed the conclusions in the review by the US National Research Council (NRC, 1999). Key findings include: (1) reaffirmation that tropospheric ozone is a multi-scale phenomenon extending to continental boundaries; (2) aerometric conditions aloft are important to ground-level ozone; (3) biogenic sources make important contributions to VOC and NO, emissions in parts of eastern North America and southern Europe; (4) emissions estimates are among the more uncertain components of predictive models for ozone; (5) recirculating flow over complex terrain and large water bodies are universally important factors affecting accumulation of ozone at the ground; (6) nonlinearities in ozone response to precursor changes create important degrees of freedom in management strategies - VOC and NO., sensitivities vary extensively in urban and rural areas, making decisions about emissions management complicated; (7) measurement methods for many precursors, intermediates, and products of photochemical reactions have improved greatly; and (8) additional analysis and interpretation of existing data from many of these field studies should pay handsome dividends at relatively modest cost.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through its Office of Research and Development collaborated in the research described here. This manuscript has been subjected to Agency review and approved for publication. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute an endorsement of recommendation for use.

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Citation:Solomon, P. A., E. Cowling, G. Hidy, and C. Furiness. Comparison of Scientific Findings from Major Ozone Field Studies in North America and Europe. ATMOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT 34(12-14):1885-1920, (2000).
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Contact: Liz Hope - (919) 541-2785 or hope.elizabeth@epa.gov
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Division: Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
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Branch: Atmospheric Methods & Monitoring Branch
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 03/01/2000
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