An odd oxygen framework for wintertime ammonium nitrate aerosol pollution in urban areas: NOx and VOC control as mitigation strategies

C. C. Womack, E. E. McDuffie, Peter Edwards, R. Bares, J. A. de Gouw, K. S. Docherty, W. P. Dube, D. L. Fibiger, A. Franchin, J. B. Gilman, L. Goldberger, B. H. Lee, J. C. Lin, R. Long, A. M. Middlebrook, D. B. Millet, A. Moravek, J. G. Murphy, P. K. Quinn, T. P. RiedelJ. M. Roberts, J. A. Thornton, L. C. Valin, P. R. Veres, A. R. Whitehill, R. J. Wild, C. Warneke, B. Yuan, M. Baasandorj, S. S. Brown

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Wintertime ammonium nitrate aerosol pollution is a severe air quality issue affecting both developed and rapidly urbanizing regions from Europe to East Asia. In the US, it is acute in western basins subject to inversions that confine pollutants near the surface. Measurements and modeling of a wintertime pollution episode in Salt Lake City, Utah demonstrates that ammonium nitrate is closely related to photochemical ozone through a common parameter, total odd oxygen, Ox,total. We show that the traditional NOx‐VOC framework for evaluating ozone mitigation strategies also applies to ammonium nitrate. Despite being nitrate‐limited, ammonium nitrate aerosol pollution in Salt Lake City is responsive to VOC control and, counterintuitively, not initially responsive to NOx control. We demonstrate simultaneous nitrate limitation and NOx saturation and suggest this phenomenon may be general. This finding may identify an unrecognized control strategy to address a global public health issue in regions with severe winter aerosol pollution.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Early online date8 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2019

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