tropospheric ozone




Ozone, the tri-atomic form of oxygen, is a gaseous atmospheric constituent. In the troposphere, ozone is created both naturally and by photochemical reactions involving gases resulting from human activities (smog). Troposphere ozone acts as a greenhouse gas. In the stratosphere, ozone is created by the interaction between solar ultraviolet radiation and molecular oxygen (O2). Stratospheric ozone plays a dominant role in the stratospheric radiative balance. Its concentration is highest in the ozone layer.(IPCC)

Wikipedia definition:

Ozone (O3) is a constituent of the troposphere (it is also an important constituent of some regions of the stratosphere commonly known as the ozone layer). The troposphere extends from the Earth's surface to between 12 and 20 kilometers above sea level and consists of many layers. Ozone is more concentrated above the mixing layer, or ground layer. Ground-level ozone, though less concentrated than ozone aloft, is more of a problem because of its health effects. Photochemical and chemical reactions involving it drive many of the chemical processes that occur in the atmosphere by day and by night. At abnormally high concentrations brought about by human activities (largely incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, such as gasoline, diesel, etc.), it is a pollutant, and a constituent of smog. Many highly energetic reactions produce it, ranging from combustion to photocopying. Often laser printers will have a smell of ozone, which in high concentrations is toxic. Ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent readily reacting with other chemical compounds to make many possibly toxic oxides. Tropospheric ozone is a greenhouse gas and initiates the chemical removal of methane and other hydrocarbons from the atmosphere. Thus, its concentration affects how long these compounds remain in the air.

Source: Wikipedia - Tropospheric ozone