The SOS community has articulated a set of six policy- relevant science questions to serve as a focus for SOS research:
- By what specific aerosol measurement methods can SOS achieve maximally beneficial characterization of aerosols in both urban and rural areas of the SOS region?
- What are the linkages (similarities and differences) between the chemical, biological, and meteorological processes that govern formation and accumulation of ozone and fine particulate aerosols?
- What is the relative efficiency of production of ozone and fine particulate aerosol in urban plumes compared to that in power-plant plumes?
- In what ways are the rates and efficiencies of ozone and fine particulate aerosol production and accumulation different in large urban areas compared to small urban areas – especially in cases where an air mass spends an extended period traversing a very large urban area?
- How do nighttime meteorological and chemical processes influence the rates, efficiencies, and areal extent of ozone and fine particulate aerosol formation and accumulation?
- What meteorological and chemical factors determine the regionality and/or locality of ozone and fine particulate aerosol accumulation events? In particular:
- How do the processes that govern ozone accumulation in isolated urban areas surrounded by high-isoprene-emitting forests differ from those in urban areas in which urban plumes overlap from one urban or non-forested area to another?
- How important are urban heat-island phenomena in determining the regionality and or locality of ozone and fine particulate aerosol formation and accumulation processes?