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Removal of NOx and NOy in Asian outflow plumes: Aircraft measurements over the western Pacific in January 2002


The Pacific Exploration of Asian Continental Emission Phase A (PEACE-A) aircraft measurement campaign was conducted over the western Pacific in January 2002. Correlations of carbon monoxide (CO) with carbon dioxide (CO2) and back trajectories are used to identify plumes strongly affected by Asian continental emissions. ΔCO/ΔCO2 ratios (i.e., linear regression slopes of CO-CO2) in the plumes generally fall within the variability range of the CO/CO2 emission ratios estimated from an emission inventory for east Asia, demonstrating the consistency between the aircraft measurements and the emission characterization. Removal rates of reactive nitrogen (NOx and NOy) for the study region (altitude <4 km, 124°-140°E, 25°-45°N) are estimated using the correlation with CO2, the photochemical age of the plumes, and the NOx/ CO2 emission ratio derived from the emission inventory. The plume age is estimated from the rates of hydrocarbon decay and hydroxyl radical (OH) concentration calculated using a constrained photochemical box model. The average lifetime of NOx is estimated to be 1.2 ± 0.4 days. Possible processes controlling the NOx lifetime are discussed in conjunction with results from earlier studies. The average lifetime of NOy is estimated to be 1.7 ± 0.5 days, which is comparable to the NOy lifetime of 1.7-1.8 days that has been previously reported for outflow from the United States. This similarity suggests the importance of chemical processing near the source regions in determining the NOy abundance. Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.

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