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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-881
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-881
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 18 Nov 2019

Submitted as: research article | 18 Nov 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).

Detection and Attribution of Wildfire Pollution in the Arctic and Northern Mid-latitudes using a Network of FTIR Spectrometers and GEOS-Chem

Erik Lutsch1, Kimberly Strong1, Dylan B. A. Jones1, Thomas Blumenstock2, Stephanie Conway1, Jenny A. Fisher3, James W. Hannigan4, Frank Hase2, Yasuko Kasai5, Emmanuel Mahieu6, Maria Makarova7, Isamu Morino8, Tomoo Nagahama9, Justus Notholt10, Ivan Ortega4, Mathias Palm10, Anatoly V. Poberovskii7, Ralf Sussmann11, and Thorsten Warneke10 Erik Lutsch et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 2Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, IMK-ASF, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 3Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia
  • 4National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 5National Institute for Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Tokyo, Japan
  • 6Institute of Astrophysics and Geophysics, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
  • 7St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 8National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Tsukuba, Japan
  • 9Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research (ISEE), Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
  • 10Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 11Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, IMK-IFU, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Abstract. We present a multi-year time series of column abundances of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen cyanide (HCN), and ethane (C2H6) measured using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers at ten sites affiliated with the Network for Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC). Six are high-latitude sites: Eureka, Ny-Alesund, Thule, Kiruna, Poker Flat, and St. Petersburg , and four are mid-latitude sites: Zugspitze, Jungfraujoch, Toronto, and Rikubetsu. For each site, the inter-annual trends and seasonal variabilities of the CO time series are accounted for, allowing ambient concentrations to be determined. Enhancements above ambient levels were used to identify possible wildfire pollution events. Since the abundance of each trace gas emitted in a wildfire event is specific to the type of vegetation burned and the burning phase, correlations of CO to the long-lived wildfire tracers HCN and C2H6 allow for further confirmation of the detection of wildfire pollution, while complementary measurements of aerosol optical depth from nearby AERONET sites confirm the presence of wildfire smoke. A GEOS-Chem tagged CO simulation with Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS) biomass burning emissions was used to determine the source attribution of CO concentrations at each site from 2003–2018. The influence of the various wildfire sources is found to differ between sites while North American and Asian boreal wildfires fires were found to be the greatest contributors to episodic CO enhancements in the summertime at all sites.

Erik Lutsch et al.
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GEOS-Chem The International GEOS-Chem User Community https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2249246

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Short summary
This paper describes the use of a network of ten Arctic and mid-latitude ground-based FTIR measurement sites to detect enhancements of the wildfire tracers carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide and ethane from 2003–2018. A tagged-CO GEOS-Chem simulation is used for source attribution and to evaluate the relative contribution of CO sources on the FTIR measurements. It was found that the boreal North America and boreal Asia are the largest contributors to episodic enhancements at all sites.
This paper describes the use of a network of ten Arctic and mid-latitude ground-based FTIR...
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