Headline: The impact of atmospheric blocking on the compounding effect of ozone pollution and temperature: a copula-based approach

Ozone pollution and high temperatures have adverse health impacts that can be amplified by the combined effects of ozone and temperature. Moreover, changes in weather patterns are expected to alter ozone pollution episodes and temperature extremes. In particular, atmospheric blocking is a high-impact, large-scale phenomenon at mid-high latitudes that has been associated with temperature extremes. This study examines the impact of atmospheric blocking on the ozone and temperature dependence among measurement stations over Europe during the period 1999–2015. We use a copula-based method to model the dependence between the two variables under blocking and non-blocking conditions. This approach allows us to examine the impact of blocks on the joint probability distribution. Our results showed that blocks lead to increasing strength in the upper tail dependence of ozone and temperature extremes (> 95th percentile) in north-west and central Europe (e.g. the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and the north-west of France). The analysis of the probability hazard scenarios revealed that blocks generally enhance the probability of compound ozone and temperature events by 20 % in a large number of stations over central Europe. The probability of ozone or temperature exceedances increases 30 % (on average) under the presence of atmospheric blocking. Furthermore, we found that, in a number of stations over north-western Europe, atmospheric blocking increases the probability of ozone exceedances by 30 % given high temperatures. Our results point out the strong influence of atmospheric blocking on the compounding effect of ozone and temperature events, suggesting that blocks might be considered a relevant predicting factor when assessing the risks of ozone-heat-related health effects.

Wissenschaftliche Aufsätze

Otero Felipe, N., Jurado, O. E., Butler, T. M., & Rust, H. W. (2022). The impact of atmospheric blocking on the compounding effect of ozone pollution and temperature: a copula-based approach. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 22(3), 1905-1919. doi:10.5194/acp-22-1905-2022.

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