This paper describes the characteristic space and time scales in time series of ambient ozone data. The authors discuss the need and a methodology for cleanly separating the various scales of motion embedded in ozone time series data, namely, short-term (weather related) variations, seasonal (solar induced) variations, and long-term (climatepolicy related) trends, in order to provide a better understanding of the underlying physical processes that affect ambient ozone levels. Spatial and temporal information in ozone time series data, obscure prior to separation, is clearly displayed by simple laws afterward. In addition, process changes due to policy or climate changes may be very small and invisible unless they are separated from weather and seasonality. Successful analysis of the ozone problem, therefore, requires a careful separation of seasonal and synoptic components.The authors show that baseline ozone retains global information on the scale of more than 2 months in time and about 300 km in space. The short-term ozone component, attributable to short-term weather and precursor emission fluctuations, is highly correlated in space, retaining 50 of the short-term information at distances ranging from 350 to 400 km; in time, short-term ozone resembles a Markov process with 1-day lag correlations ranging from 0.2 to 0.5. The correlation structure of short-term ozone permits highly accurate predictions of ozone concentrations up to distances of about 600 km from a given monitor. These results clearly demonstrate that ozone is a regional-scale problem.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Oct 23, 1997
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