Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Simulation of summertime ozone over North America

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

The concentrations of O3 and its precursors over North America are simulated for three summer months with a three-dimensional, continental-scale photochemical model using meteorological input from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) general circulation model (GCM). The model has 4°×5° grid resolution and represents non linear chemistry in urban and industrial plumes with a subgrid nested scheme. Simulated median afternoon O3 concentrations at rural U.S. sites are within 5 ppb of observations in most cases, except in the south central United States where concentrations are overpredicted by 15–20 ppb. The model captures successfully the development of regional high-O3 episodes over the northeastern United States on the back side of weak, warm, stagnant anticyclones. Simulated concentrations of CO and nonmethane hydrocarbons are generally in good agreement with observations, concentrations of NOx are underpredicted by 10–30%, and concentrations of peroxyacylnitrates (PANs) are overpredicted by a factor of 2 to 3. The overprediction of PANs is attributed to flaws in the photochemical mechanism, including excessive production from oxidation of isoprene, and may also reflect an underestimate of PANs deposition. Subgrid nonlinear chemistry as captured by the nested plumes scheme decreases the net O3 production computed in the United States boundary layer by 8% on average.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View