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A preliminary analysis of zonally averaged, ozone concentration data obtained from commercial (GASP) aircraft between the equator and 60 deg North indicates that ozone in the upper troposphere exhibits a primary maximum during the spring, and, in middle latitudes, a secondary maximum in the summer of both 1975 and 1976. A late-fall/early-winter minimum also appears and seems consistent with previous upper air measurements. The April ozone maximum has been well documented and appears at the time when the stratospheric ozone content is greatest and cyclogenetic activity is most vigorous. However, the secondary maximum in June has not been widely observed or quoted as a unique feature. It is hypothesized that the rapid ascent of the tropopause between midspring and summer could account for the incorporation of ozone-rich, stratospheric air into the upper troposphere with a subsequent dilution during the following months. This may explain certain aspects of the annual ozone cycle in the lower troposphere which occasionally exhibit a bimodal distribution during the warm season.
aircrafts, ozone, measurements, tropospheric ozone, tropopause lifting, troposphere, stratosphere, meteorology, air pollution
Research associate, Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, State University of New York at Albany, Albany, N.Y.