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Published April 16, 2009 | Published
Journal Article Open

Overview of the Second Texas Air Quality Study (TexAQS II) and the Gulf of Mexico Atmospheric Composition and Climate Study (GoMACCS)


The Second Texas Air Quality Study (TexAQS II) was conducted in eastern Texas during 2005 and 2006. This 2-year study included an intensive field campaign, TexAQS 2006/Gulf of Mexico Atmospheric Composition and Climate Study (GoMACCS), conducted in August–October 2006. The results reported in this special journal section are based on observations collected on four aircraft, one research vessel, networks of ground-based air quality and meteorological (surface and radar wind profiler) sites in eastern Texas, a balloon-borne ozonesonde-radiosonde network (part of Intercontinental Transport Experiment Ozonesonde Network Study (IONS-06)), and satellites. This overview paper provides operational and logistical information for those platforms and sites, summarizes the principal findings and conclusions that have thus far been drawn from the results, and directs readers to appropriate papers for the full analysis. Two of these findings deserve particular emphasis. First, despite decreases in actual emissions of highly reactive volatile organic compounds (HRVOC) and some improvements in inventory estimates since the TexAQS 2000 study, the current Houston area emission inventories still underestimate HRVOC emissions by approximately 1 order of magnitude. Second, the background ozone in eastern Texas, which represents the minimum ozone concentration that is likely achievable through only local controls, can approach or exceed the current National Ambient Air Quality Standard of 75 ppbv for an 8-h average. These findings have broad implications for air quality control strategies in eastern Texas.

Additional Information

©2009. American Geophysical Union. Received 2 February 2009; accepted 14 April 2009; published 11 July 2009. The Air Quality and the Climate Research and Modeling Programs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) supported the WP-3D, O3 Lidar aircraft, and Ronald H. Brown R/V measurements. The CIRPAS Twin Otter was supported by the NOAA Climate Program Office under grant NA06OAR4310082. Support for the HSRL deployment and analyses of data was provided by the NASA Science Mission Directorate, the NASA CALIPSO project, the Texas Commission on Environment Quality (TCEQ), and the Office of Science (BER), U. S. Department of Energy (Atmospheric Science Program), Interagency Agreement DE-AI02-05ER6398.

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