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Tropospheric Ozone Change from 1980 to 2010 Dominated by Equatorward Redistribution of EmissionsOzone is an important air pollutant at the surface, and the third most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas in the troposphere. Since 1980, anthropogenic emissions of ozone precursors methane, non-methane volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides (NOx) have shifted from developed to developing regions. Emissions have thereby been redistributed equatorwards, where they are expected to have a stronger effect on the tropospheric ozone burden due to greater convection, reaction rates and NOx sensitivity. Here we use a global chemical transport model to simulate changes in tropospheric ozone concentrations from 1980 to 2010, and to separate the influences of changes in the spatial distribution of global anthropogenic emissions of short-lived pollutants, the magnitude of these emissions, and the global atmospheric methane concentration. We estimate that the increase in ozone burden due to the spatial distribution change slightly exceeds the combined influences of the increased emission magnitude and global methane. Emission increases in Southeast, East and South Asia may be most important for the ozone change, supported by an analysis of statistically significant increases in observed ozone above these regions. The spatial distribution of emissions dominates global tropospheric ozone, suggesting that the future ozone burden will be determined mainly by emissions from low latitudes.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Zhang, Yuqiang (North Carolina Univ. Chapel Hill, NC, United States)
Cooper, Owen R. (Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Gaudel, Audrey (Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Thompson, Anne M. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Nedelec, Philippe (Toulouse Univ. France)
Ogino, Shin-Ya (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology Kanagawa, Japan)
West, J. Jason (North Carolina Univ. Chapel Hill, NC, United States)
Date Acquired
June 28, 2017
Publication Date
November 7, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: Nature Geoscience
Volume: 9
ISSN: 1752-0894
Subject Category
Environment Pollution
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits