Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 3, 1973-1989, 2003
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Improving the seasonal cycle and interannual variations of biomass burning aerosol sources
S. Generoso1, F.-M. Bréon1, Y. Balkanski1, O. Boucher2, and M. Schulz1
1Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, CEA/CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
2Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique, CNRS/Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, Villeneuve d’Ascq, France

Abstract. This paper suggests a method for improving current inventories of aerosol emissions from biomass burning. The method is based on the hypothesis that, although the total estimates within large regions are correct, the exact spatial and temporal description can be improved. It makes use of open fire detection from the ATSR instrument that is available for a period of 5 years starting in 1996. Thus, the emissions inventories are re-distributed in space and time according to the occurrence of open fires.

The impact of the method on the emission inventories is assessed using an aerosol transport model, the results of which are compared to sunphotometer and satellite data. It is shown that the seasonal cycle of aerosol load in the atmosphere is significantly improved in several regions, in particular South America and Australia. Besides, the use of ATSR fire detection may be used to account for interannual events, as is demonstrated on the large Indonesian fires of 1997, a consequence of the 1997–1998 El Niño. Despite these improvements, there are still some large discrepancies between the simulated and observed optical thicknesses.

Citation: Generoso, S., Bréon, F.-M., Balkanski, Y., Boucher, O., and Schulz, M.: Improving the seasonal cycle and interannual variations of biomass burning aerosol sources, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 3, 1973-1989, doi:10.5194/acpd-3-1973-2003, 2003.
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