TJ11.2 The Impact of Teleconnection-Driven Patterns on Long-Range Transport into Southern California

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 11:15 AM
Room 243 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Marilyn B. Jones, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO; and J. R. Schroeder, N. K. Heath, S. W. Freeman, and D. R. Blake

Long-range transport of pollution from East Asia has been known to affect air quality over the United States. Whole air samples were collected aboard the NASA DC-8 aircraft during the Student Airborne Research Program (SARP) to investigate the role of teleconnection-driven patterns on Southern California air quality. Gas chromatography was used to analyze the samples for volatile organic compounds in the Rowland-Blake lab at University of California-Irvine. Back trajectories were calculated for the samples collected to identify air masses that had originated from East Asia, and these were then categorized into two bins: "East Asia" and "Non-East Asia". Selected samples were analyzed for four gases known to have sources in East Asia to compare SARP samples collected in 2013, 2014, and 2015. It appears that 2015 was an anomalous year that had less pollution from East Asia, whereas 2013 and 2014 had a more significant East Asian influence. Monthly averages were computed for zonal wind anomalies at 300 hPa (~30,000 ft). The results showed that the wind pattern in 2015 was not conducive for trans-Pacific transport into Southern California, especially when compared to 2013 and 2014. The anomalous wind pattern during June 2015 might be the result of a strengthening El Niño, the Pacific “warm blob”, or an interaction between the two. Having a better knowledge of large-scale circulation patterns is crucial to better understanding how much pollution the United States could receive and from where it emerges, which could inform global pollution policies.
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