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Impact of the COVID‐19 Economic Downturn on Tropospheric Ozone Trends: An Uncertainty Weighted Data Synthesis for Quantifying Regional Anomalies Above Western North America and Europe

Abstract : This study quantifies the association between the COVID-19 economic downturn and 2020 tropospheric ozone anomalies above Europe and western North America, and their impact on long-term trends. Anomaly detection for an atmospheric time series is usually carried out by identifying potentially aberrant data points relative to climatological values. However, detecting ozone anomalies from sparsely sampled ozonesonde profiles (once per week at most sites) is challenging due to ozone's high temporal variability. We first demonstrate the challenges for summarizing regional trends based on independent time series from multiple nearby ozone profiling stations. We then propose a novel regional-scale anomaly detection framework based on generalized additive mixed models, which accounts for the sampling frequency and inherent data uncertainty associated with each vertical profile data set, measured by ozonesondes, lidar or commercial aircraft. This method produces a long-term monthly time series with high vertical resolution that reports ozone anomalies from the surface to the middle-stratosphere under a unified framework, which can be used to quantify the regional-scale ozone anomalies during the COVID-19 economic downturn. By incorporating extensive commercial aircraft data and frequently sampled ozonesonde profiles above Europe, we show that the complex interannual variability of ozone can be adequately captured by our modeling approach. The results show that free tropospheric ozone negative anomalies in 2020 are the most profound since the benchmark year of 1994 for both Europe and western North America, and positive trends over 1994–2019 are diminished in both regions by the 2020 anomalies.
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Submitted on : Sunday, March 6, 2022 - 1:56:34 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 8:54:31 AM
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Kai‐lan Chang, Owen R. Cooper, Audrey Gaudel, Marc Allaart, Gérard Ancellet, et al.. Impact of the COVID‐19 Economic Downturn on Tropospheric Ozone Trends: An Uncertainty Weighted Data Synthesis for Quantifying Regional Anomalies Above Western North America and Europe. AGU Advances, 2022, 3 (2), pp.e2021AV000542. ⟨10.1029/2021av000542⟩. ⟨insu-03598975⟩

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