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Evaluating Drought Responses of Surface Ozone Precursor Proxies: Variations with Land Cover Type, Precipitation, and Temperature
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  • Jacob Genek Naimark,
  • Arlene Fiore,
  • Xiaomeng Jin,
  • Yuxuan Wang,
  • Elizabeth Klovenski,
  • Christian Braneon
Jacob Genek Naimark
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Arlene Fiore
Columbia University
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Xiaomeng Jin
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
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Yuxuan Wang
University of Houston
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Elizabeth Klovenski
University of Houston
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Christian Braneon
NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
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Prior work suggests drought exacerbates U.S. air quality by increasing surface ozone concentrations. We analyze 2005-2015 tropospheric column concentrations of two trace gases that serve as proxies for surface ozone precursors retrieved from the OMI/Aura satellite: nitrogen dioxide (ΩNO2; NOx proxy) and formaldehyde (ΩHCHO; VOC proxy). We find 3.5% and 7.7% summer drought enhancements for ΩNO2 and ΩHCHO, respectively, corroborating signals previously extracted from ground-level observations. When we subset by land cover type (using MCD12Q1) and isolate the influences of precipitation and temperature on drought, we find the strongest ΩHCHO drought enhancement (10%) in the woody savannas of the Southeast US. This increase likely reflects biogenic VOC emissions and occurs independently with both high temperature and low precipitation. The strongest ΩNO2 drought enhancement (6.0%) occurs over Midwest US croplands and grasslands, which we infer to reflect the sensitivity of soil NOx emissions to temperature.