Tropical Tropospheric Ozone and Biomass Burning

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Science  16 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5511, pp. 2128-2132
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5511.2128

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New methods for retrieving tropospheric ozone column depth and absorbing aerosol (smoke and dust) from the Earth Probe–Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (EP/TOMS) are used to follow pollution and to determine interannual variability and trends. During intense fires over Indonesia (August to November 1997), ozone plumes, decoupled from the smoke below, extended as far as India. This ozone overlay a regional ozone increase triggered by atmospheric responses to the El Niño and Indian Ocean Dipole. Tropospheric ozone and smoke aerosol measurements from the Nimbus 7 TOMS instrument show El Niño signals but no tropospheric ozone trend in the 1980s. Offsets between smoke and ozone seasonal maxima point to multiple factors determining tropical tropospheric ozone variability.

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