A warm blob of water lurking in the Pacific Ocean in 2014 and 2015 led to a spike in ozone levels across the western U.S., new research suggests. The blob of warm water, which sat about 310 miles (500 kilometers) off the Oregon coast, was linked to a high-pressure system in the atmosphere that resulted in warm, calm air and sunny skies across nearly a quarter of the country, said study co-author Dan Jaffe, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington Bothell. Those atmospheric conditions sped up the formation of ozone in the atmosphere, Jaffe added.
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