Measuring air pollution during the heatwave
The ICOZA (Integrated Chemistry of Ozone in the Atmosphere) field campaign at Weybourne Observatory has started.
Looking forward to measuring ozone formation during the heatwave - how will July 2015 compare with August 2003 ?
Field measurements at Weybourne Atmospheric Observatory will explore the relative importance of processing of UK emissions vs import of European pollution in controlling ozone levels over the UK. Measurements will evaluate levels of key air pollutants (ozone, NO2, fine particles) and their formation processes.
July 1 Heatwave: Temperatures reached 30.2 C at Weybourne, and we experienced a regional ozone pollution event across East Anglia, peaking a little over 110 ppb. Not on the scale of August 2003, but still significant. Initial analyses indicate a combination of advection and photochemical formation over the UK.
ICOZA: Project Background
Integrated Chemistry of Ozone in the Atmosphere
the ICOZA project is led by the University of Birmingham, in collaboration with UEA, the University of Leeds and the University of York/NCAS.
Tropospheric ozone is an important air pollutant, harmful to human health, agricultural crops and vegetation. It is the main precursor to the atmospheric oxidants which initiate the degradation of most reactive gases emitted to the atmosphere, and is an important greenhouse gas in its own right. As a consequence of this central role in atmospheric chemistry and air pollution, the capacity to understand, predict and manage tropospheric ozone levels is a key goal for atmospheric science research. This goal is hard to achieve, as ozone is a secondary pollutant, formed in the atmosphere from the complex oxidation of VOCs in the presence of NOx and sunlight, and the timescale of ozone production is such that a combination of in situ chemical processes, deposition and transport govern ozone levels. Uncertainties in all of these factors affect the accuracy of numerical models used to predict current and future ozone levels, and so hinder development of optimal air quality policies to mitigate ozone exposure. Here, we will address this problem by measuring the local chemical ozone production rate, and directly determining the ozone production regime.
The ICOZA project will directly determine the relative importance of ozone transport (where ozone is formed upwind, and blown to the measurement site) and ozone formation (when local emissions undergo chemical processing leading to ozone formation). This will be achieved by field measurments of ozone production using a range of new and existing instrumentation.