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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 29 Mar 2019

Submitted as: research article | 29 Mar 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Transport of the 2017 Canadian wildfire plume to the tropics and global stratosphere via the Asian monsoon circulation

Corinna Kloss1, Gwenaël Berthet1, Pasquale Sellitto2, Felix Ploeger3, Silvia Bucci4, Sergey Khaykin5, Fabrice Jégou1, Ghassan Taha6, Larry W. Thomason7, Brice Barret8, Eric Le Flochmoen8, Marc von Hobe3, Adriana Bossolasco1, Nelson Bègue9, and Bernard Legras4 Corinna Kloss et al.
  • 1Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l'Environnement et de l'Espace, CNRS/Université d'Orléans, UMR 7328, Orléans, France
  • 2Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques Université Paris-Est Créteil and Université Paris Diderot, CNRS, IPSL, UMR 7583, Créteil, France
  • 3Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK-7), Jülich, Germany
  • 4Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, UMR 8539, CNRS – École Normale Supérieure/Université Pierre et MarieCurie/École Polytechnique, Paris, France
  • 5LATMOS, Université Versailles St-Quentin, Sorbonne Université, CNRS, IPSL, Guyancourt, France
  • 6Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, Maryland, USA
  • 7NASA-Langley Research Center, Hampton (VA), USA
  • 8Laboratoire d’Aérologie, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UMR 5560, UPS, Toulouse, France
  • 9Laboratoire de l’Atmosphère et des Cyclones, CNRS, UMR 8105, Université de la Réunion, France

Abstract. We show that a fire plume originating at high northern latitudes during the Canadian wildfire event in July/August 2017 reached the tropics, and subsequently the tropical stratosphere via the ascending branch of the Brewer-Dobson Circulation (BDC). The transport from high to low latitudes in the upper troposphere and lowermost stratosphere was mediated by the anticyclonic flow of the Asian monsoon circulation. The fire plume reached the Asian monsoon area in late August/early September, when the Asian Monsoon Anticyclone (AMA) was still in place. While there is no evidence of mixing into the center of the AMA, we show that a substantial part of the fire plume is entrained into the anticyclonic flow at the AMA edge, and is transported into the tropical Upper-Troposphere–Lower-Stratosphere (UTLS), and possibly the Southern Hemisphere particularly following the north-south flow on the eastern side. In the tropics the fire plume is lifted by ~1.5 km per month. Inside the AMA we find evidence of the Asian Tropopause Aerosol Layer (ATAL) in August, doubling background aerosol conditions with a calculated top of the atmosphere shortwave radiative forcing (RF) of −0.05 W/m2. The regional climate impact of the fire signal in the wider Asian monsoon area in September exceeds the impact of the ATAL by a factor of 2–4 and compares to that of a plume coming from an advected moderate volcanic eruption. The stratospheric, trans-continental transport of this plume to the tropics and the related regional climate impact point at the importance of long-range dynamical interconnections of pollution sources.

Corinna Kloss et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Corinna Kloss et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
With satellite measurements and transport models, we show that a plume resulting from the strong Canadian fires in Jul/Aug 2017 was not only distributed throughout the northern/higher latitudes, but also reached the far away tropics. The transport was aided by the circulation of the Asian Monsoon Anticyclone. The plume ascended into the global stratosphere and remained visible for ~8 months. The climate impact (cooling) in the Asian monsoon region exceeds the one of the ATAL by a factor of ~3.
With satellite measurements and transport models, we show that a plume resulting from the strong...