IASI observations of seasonal and day-to-day variations of tropospheric ozone over three highly populated areas of China: Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong
IASI observations of tropospheric ozone over the Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong areas during one year (2008) have been analysed, demonstrating the capability of space-borne infrared nadir measurements to probe seasonal and even day-to-day variations of lower tropospheric ozone (0-6 km partial columns) on the regional scale of highly populated areas. The monthly variations of lower tropospheric ozone retrieved from IASI clearly show the influence of the Asian summer monsoon that brings clean air masses from the Pacific during summer. They exhibit indeed a sharp ozone maximum in late spring and early summer (May-June) followed by a summer minimum. The time periods and the intensities of the maxima and of the decreases are latitude-dependent: they are more pronounced in Hong Kong and Shanghai than in Beijing. Moreover, IASI provides the opportunity to follow the spatial variations of ozone over the surroundings of each megacity as well as its daily variability. We show here that the large lower tropospheric ozone amounts (0-6 km partial columns) observed with IASI are mainly downwind the highest populated areas in each region, thus possibly suggesting the anthropogenic origin of the large ozone amounts observed. Finally, an analysis of the mean ozone profiles over each region - for selected days with high ozone events - in association with the analysis of the meteorological situation shows that the high ozone amounts observed during winter are likely related to descents of ozone-rich air from the stratosphere, whereas in spring and summer the tropospheric ozone is likely enhanced by photochemical production in polluted areas and/or in air masses from fire plumes.