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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-372
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-372
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 27 Nov 2019

Submitted as: research article | 27 Nov 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Estimates of Lightning NOx Production based on High Resolution OMI NO2 Retrievals over the Continental US

Xin Zhang1,2, Yan Yin1,2, Ronald van der A2,3, Jeff L. Lapierre4, Qian Chen1,2, Xiang Kuang1,2, Shuqi Yan2, Jinghua Chen1,2, Chuan He1,2, and Rulin Shi1,2 Xin Zhang et al.
  • 1Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters/Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of China Meteorological Administration, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST), Nanjing 210044, China
  • 2Department of Atmospheric Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST), Nanjing 210044, China
  • 3Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), Department of Satellite Observations, De Bilt, the Netherlands
  • 4Earth Networks, Germantown, Maryland, USA

Abstract. Lightning serves as the dominant source of nitrogen oxides (NOx = NO + NO2) in the upper troposphere (UT), with strong impact on ozone chemistry and the hydroxyl radical production. However, the production efficiency (PE) of lightning nitrogen oxides (LNOx) is still quite uncertain (32–1100 mol NO per flash). Satellites measurements are a powerful tool to estimate LNOx directly as compared to conventional platforms. To apply satellite data in both clean and polluted regions, a new algorithm for calculating LNOx has been developed based on the program of new Berkeley High Resolution (BEHR) v3.0B NO2 product and the Weather Research and Forecasting-Chemistry (WRF-Chem) model. LNOx PE over the continental US is estimated using the NO2 product of the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) satellite and the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN) data. Focusing on the summer season during 2014, we find that the lightning NO2 (LNO2) PE is 44 ± 16 mol NO2 flash-1 and 8 ± 3 mol NO2 stroke-1 while LNOx PE is 120 ± 52 mol NOx flash-1 and 22 ± 9 mol NOx stroke-1. Results reveal that former methods are more sensitive to background NO2 and neglect much of the below-cloud LNO2. As the LNOx parameterization varies in studies, the sensitivity of our calculations to the setting of the amount of lightning NO (LNO) is evaluated. Careful consideration of the ratio of LNO2 to NO2 is also needed, given its large influence on the estimation of LNO2 PE.

Xin Zhang et al.
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Xin Zhang et al.
Model code and software

zxdawn/BEHR-LNOx: v1.0 Xin, Zhang and Joshua, Laughner https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3553426

Xin Zhang et al.
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Short summary
Lightning NOx has a strong impact on ozone and the hydroxyl radical production. However, the production efficiency of lightning NOx is still quite uncertain. This work develops the algorithm of estimating lightning NOx for both clean and polluted regions, and evaluates the sensitivity of estimates to the model setting of lightning NO. Results reveal that former methods are more sensitive to the background NO2 and neglect much of the below-cloud LNO2.
Lightning NOx has a strong impact on ozone and the hydroxyl radical production. However, the...
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