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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-700
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-700
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 08 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 08 Aug 2019

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

Evidence for impacts on surface-level air quality in the Northeastern U.S. from long-distance transport of smoke from North American fires during LISTOS 2018

Haley M. Rogers, Jenna C. Ditto, and Drew R. Gentner Haley M. Rogers et al.
  • Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA

Abstract. Biomass burning is a large source of uncontrolled air pollutants, including particulate matter (i.e. PM2.5), black carbon (BC), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and carbon monoxide (CO), which have significant effects on air quality, human health, and climate. Measurements of PM2.5, BC, and CO made at the Yale Coastal Field Station in Guilford, CT and five other sites in the metropolitan New York City (NYC) area indicate long-distance transport of pollutants from wildfires and other biomass burning to surface-level sites in the region. Here, we examine two such events occurring on August 16th–17th and 27th–29th, 2018. In addition to regionally-consistent enhancements in the surface concentrations of gases and particulates associated with biomass burning, satellite imagery confirms the presence of smoke plumes in the NYC-Connecticut region during these events. Backward-trajectory modeling indicates that air masses arriving in coastal Connecticut on August 16th–17th passed over the west coast of Canada, near multiple large wildfires. In contrast, air parcels arriving on August 27th–29th passed over active fires in the southeastern United States. The results of this study demonstrate that biomass burning events throughout the U.S. and Canada (more than 4000 km away), which are increasing in frequency, impact surface-level air quality beyond regional scales, including in NYC and the northeastern U.S.

Haley M. Rogers et al.
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Status: open (until 03 Oct 2019)
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Short summary
This study combines surface-level air quality measurements with satellite imagery and backward-trajectory modeling to investigate the long-distance transport of these emissions to the New York City metropolitan area and the Northeastern U.S. Two events in August 2018 were each traced to biomass burning on the west coast of Canada and from the southeastern U.S, highlighting the importance of understanding long-distance transport of fire emissions in air quality planning.
This study combines surface-level air quality measurements with satellite imagery and...
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