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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 12 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 12 Feb 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Constraining the relationships between aerosol height, aerosol optical depth and total column trace gas measurements using remote sensing and models

Shuo Wang1, Jason Blake Cohen1,2, Chuyong Lin1, and Weizhi Deng1 Shuo Wang et al.
  • 1School of Atmospheric Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, 519000, China
  • 2Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), China

Abstract. Proper quantification of the aerosol vertical height is essential to constrain the atmospheric distribution and lifetime of aerosols, as well as their impact on the environment. We use globally distributed, daily averaged measurements of aerosol stereo heights of fire aerosols from MISR to understand the aerosol distribution. We also connect these results with a simple plume rise model and a new multi-linear regression model approach based on daily measurements of NO2 from OMI and CO from MOPITT to understand and model the global aerosol vertical height profile over biomass burning regions. First, plumes associated with the local dry-burning season at mid to high latitudes frequently have a significant fraction lofted into the free troposphere, and in some cases even the stratosphere. Second, plumes mainly associated with less polluted regions in developing countries and heavily forested areas tend to stay closer to the ground, although they are not always uniformly distributed throughout the boundary layer. Third, plumes associated with more serious loadings of pollution (such as in Africa, Southeast Asia and Northeast China) tend to have a significant amount of smoke transported uniformly through the planetary boundary layer and up to around 3 km. Fourth, the regression model approach yields a better ability to reproduce the measured heights as compared to the plume rise model approach. This improvement is based on a removal of the negative bias observed from the plume model approach, as well as a better ability to work under more heavily polluted conditions. However, over many regions, both approaches fail, requiring deeper work to understand the physical, chemical, and dynamical reasons underlying the failure over these regions.

Shuo Wang et al.

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Shuo Wang et al.

Data sets

model results for PRM and RM S. Wang and J. Blake Cohen

Shuo Wang et al.


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Latest update: 02 Jun 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We analyze global measurements of aerosol height from fires. A plume rise model reproduces measurements with a low bias in 5 regions, while a statistical model based on satellite measurements of trace gasses co-emitted from the fires reproduces measurements without bias in 8 regions. We propose that the magnitude of the pollutants emitted may impact their height and subsequent downwind transport. This will allow better modeling of the global aerosol distribution.
We analyze global measurements of aerosol height from fires. A plume rise model reproduces...