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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
06 Apr 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Extreme levels of Canadian wildfire smoke in the stratosphere over central Europe – Part 1: AERONET, MODIS and lidar observations
Albert Ansmann1, Holger Baars1, Alexandra Chudnovsky2, Moritz Haarig1, Igor Veselovskii3, Ina Mattis4, Patric Seifert1, Ronny Engelmann1, and Ulla Wandinger1 1Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
2Tel Aviv University, Department of Geography and Human Environment, Tel Aviv, Israel
3Physics Instrumentation Center of General Physics Institute, Moscow, Russia
4Observatory Hohenpeissenberg, German Weather Service, Hohenpeissenberg, Germany
Abstract. Light extinction coefficients of 500 Mm−1, about 20 times higher than after the Pinatubo volcanic eruptions in 1991, were observed with lidar in the stratosphere over Leipzig, Germany, on 22 August 2017. A pronounced smoke layer extended from 14–16 km height and was 3–4 km above the local tropopause. Optically dense layers of Canadian wildfire smoke reached central Europe 10 days after injection into the lower stratosphere caused by rather strong pyrocumulonimbus activity over western Canada. The smoke-related aerosol optical thickness (AOT) was close to 1.0 at 532 nm over Leipzig during the noon hours. We present detailed observations of this record-breaking smoke event in a series of two articles. In part 1, we provide an overview of Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) sun photometer observations and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) retrievals of AOT and show lidar measurements documenting the aerosol layering and the very high particle extinction coefficients. In part 2 (Haarig et al., 2018), observations with three polarization/Raman lidars are presented, performed at Leipzig after sunset on 22 August to elucidate the optical and microphysical properties of the aged smoke. As shown in this part 1, smoke particles were found throughout the free troposphere (532 nm AOT of 0.3). A pronounced 2-km thick stratospheric smoke layer occurred from 14–16 km height (AOT of 0.6). AERONET and lidar observations indicate peak mass concentrations of 70–100 μg m−3 in the stratosphere around noon and a well-defined (accumulation mode) smoke particle size distribution characterized by a large effective radius of 0.3–0.4 μm and the absence of a particle coarse mode.
Citation: Ansmann, A., Baars, H., Chudnovsky, A., Haarig, M., Veselovskii, I., Mattis, I., Seifert, P., Engelmann, R., and Wandinger, U.: Extreme levels of Canadian wildfire smoke in the stratosphere over central Europe – Part 1: AERONET, MODIS and lidar observations, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,, in review, 2018.
Albert Ansmann et al.
Albert Ansmann et al.
Albert Ansmann et al.


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