Scientists Connect Russian Wildfire with Ozone Pollution over the northern Tibetan Plateau


Atmospheric ozone can regulate the amount of incoming ultraviolet radiation on the Earth's surface and is thus important for the atmospheric environment and ecosystems. Tropospheric ozone, which primarily originates from photochemical reactions, is the third most prominent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate warming. Ozone variation over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) has received increasing attention from researchers due to its high influences on the weather and climate changes. Unfortunately, surface observation sites on the northern TP are sparse associated with the special terrain and harsh climate.

Ozonesonde, developed by the Key Laboratory of Middle Atmosphere and Global Environment Observation at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) was released over the northern TP in 2016, 2019, and 2020. In a recently published paper in Atmospheric Research, the PI of the experiment Dr. ZHANG Jinqiang reported that the deep stratospheric intrusion contributes to the occurrence of large ozone partial pressure in the troposphere.

Balloon-borne measurement over the northern TP. (Image by ZHANG Jinqiang)

"We also found that the large wildfire smoke occurring around central and eastern Russia in July 2016 caused ozone pollution in the troposphere over the northern TP, via long-range transport processes." added Dr. LI Dan, the corresponding author of the paper. The researchers warn that due to global warming, wildfires will increase and more pollution can be transported across China via long range.


This work was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDA17010101), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41875183, 41975050 and 91837311), and the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFA0603504).

Jinqiang Zhang, Dan Li, Jianchun Bian, Zhixuan Bai. Deep stratospheric intrusion and Russian wildfire induce enhanced tropospheric ozone pollution over the northern Tibetan Plateau, Atmospheric Research, 2021, 105662. (


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