ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY

Whose Ozone Is It?

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  03 Nov 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5493, pp. 903
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5493.903a

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently proposed tougher ozone standards that currently are not met in many areas of the United States. Concern has been raised that the standards may not be achievable because background ozone may reach concentrations that are almost half of the new standard. This background ozone includes intercontinental pollution that may be transported over the entire northern mid-latitudes. Lin et al. have examined the long-term trend in ozone background in surface air over the United States from 1980 to 1998 by analyzing hourly ozone observations for a large ensemble of rural sites. They observe an increase in the low end of the ozone probability distribution, which they attribute to increased background concentrations. The increase is largest in the spring and may reflect more efficient pollutant transport at northern mid-latitudes during this season. However, the geographical distribution of the ozone trends is not consistent with Asian pollution. — JU

Geophys. Res. Lett.27, 3465 (2000).

Navigate This Article