Evaluating the Vertical Distribution of Ozone and its Relationship to Pollution Events in Air Quality Models using Satellite Data

Monday, 15 December 2014
Gregory B Osterman1, Jessica L. Neu1, Annmarie Eldering1, Robert W Pinder2, Youhua Tang3 and Jeffrey McQueen3, (1)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, (2)US EPA, Rtp, NC, United States, (3)NOAA, Boulder, CO, United States
Most regional scale models that are used for air quality forecasts and ozone source attribution do not adequately capture the distribution of ozone in the mid- and upper troposphere, but it is unclear how this shortcoming relates to their ability to simulate surface ozone. We combine ozone profile data from the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) and a new joint product from TES and the Ozone Monitoring Instrument along with ozonesonde measurements and EPA AirNow ground station ozone data to examine air quality events during August 2006 in the Community Multi-Scale Air Quality (CMAQ) and National Air Quality Forecast Capability (NAQFC) models. We present both aggregated statistics and case-study analyses with the goal of assessing the relationship between the models’ ability to reproduce surface air quality events and their ability to capture the vertical distribution of ozone. We find that the models lack the mid-tropospheric ozone variability seen in TES and the ozonesonde data, and discuss the conditions under which this variability appears to be important for surface air quality.