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Subtropical potential vorticity intrusion drives increasing tropospheric ozone over the tropical central Pacific
Nath, N.; Chen, W.; Graf, Hans-F.; Lan, X.; Gong, H.; Nath, R.; Hu, K.; Wang, L. (2016). Subtropical potential vorticity intrusion drives increasing tropospheric ozone over the tropical central Pacific. NPG Scientific Reports 6(21370): 11 pp.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Nath, N.
  • Chen, W.
  • Graf, Hans-F.
  • Lan, X.
  • Gong, H.
  • Nath, R.
  • Hu, K.
  • Wang, L.

    Drawn from multiple reanalysis datasets, an increasing trend and westward shift in the number of Potential Vorticity intrusion events over the Pacific are evident. The increased frequency can be linked to a long-term trend in upper tropospheric equatorial westerly wind and subtropical jets during boreal winter to spring. These may be resulting from anomalous warming and cooling over the western Pacific warm pool and the tropical eastern Pacific, respectively. The intrusions brought dry and ozone rich air of stratospheric origin deep into the tropics. In the tropical upper troposphere, interannual ozone variability is mainly related to convection associated with El Nino/Southern Oscillation. Zonal mean stratospheric overturning circulation organizes the transport of ozone rich air poleward and downward to the high and midlatitudes leading there to higher ozone concentration. In addition to these well described mechanisms, we observe a long-term increasing trend in ozone flux over the northern hemispheric outer tropical (10-25 degrees N) central Pacific that results from equatorward transport and downward mixing from the midlatitude upper troposphere and lower stratosphere during PV intrusions. This increase in tropospheric ozone flux over the Pacific Ocean may affect the radiative processes and changes the budget of atmospheric hydroxyl radicals.

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