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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-96
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-96
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 04 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 04 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Smoke of extreme Australian bushfires observed in the stratosphere over Punta Arenas, Chile, in January 2020: optical thickness, lidar ratios, and depolarization ratios at 355 and 532 nm

Kevin Ohneiser1, Albert Ansmann1, Holger Baars1, Patric Seifert1, Boris Barja2, Cristofer Jimenez1, Martin Radenz1, Audrey Teisseire1, Athina Floutsi1, Moritz Haarig1, Ronny Engelmann1, Felix Zamorano2, Johannes Bühl1, and Ulla Wandinger1 Kevin Ohneiser et al.
  • 1Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Atmospheric Research Laboratory, University of Magallanes, Punta Arenas, Chile

Abstract. We present particle optical properties of stratospheric smoke layers observed over Punta Arenas (53.2° S, 70.9° W), Chile, at the southernmost tip of South America in January 2020. The smoke originated from the record-breaking bushfires in Australia. The stratospheric aerosol optical thickness reached values up to 0.7 at 532 nm in mid January 2020. The measured smoke extinction-to-backscatter ratios (lidar ratios) and linear depolarization ratios at 355 and 532 nm wavelength indicate shape, size, and light-absorption properties and are important input parameters in the analysis of spaceborne lidar observations of the CALIPSO and Aeolus missions. They are also of key importance regarding the homogenization of the overall Aeolus (355 nm wavelength) and CALIPSO (532 nm wavelength) smoke data sets and interpretation of the observations with respect to the spread of the smoke particles across the southern hemisphere and decay of the stratospheric perturbation. We found typical values and spectral dependencies of the lidar ratio and linear depolarization ratio for aged stratospheric smoke. At 355 nm, the lidar ratio and depolarization ratio ranged from 53–97 sr and 0.2–0.26, respectively. At 532 nm, the lidar ratios were higher (76–104 sr) and the depolarization ratios were lower with values around 0.15. The found lidar ratio and depolarization ratio values for Australian smoke are in good agreement with respective ones obtained from observations of stratospheric smoke layers over central Europe originating from the record-breaking Canadian wildfires in the summer of 2017. The higher 532 nm lidar ratios, however, indicate stronger absorption by the Australian smoke particles.

Kevin Ohneiser et al.

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Kevin Ohneiser et al.

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Latest update: 18 Feb 2020
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Short summary
Unique lidar observations of a strong perturbation of the stratospheric aerosol conditions in the southern hemisphere caused by the extreme Australian bushfires in 2019–2020 are presented. One of the main goals of this article is to provide the CALIPSO and Aeolus spaceborne lidar science teams with basic input parameters (lidar ratios, depolarization ratios) for a trustworthy documentation of this record-breaking event.
Unique lidar observations of a strong perturbation of the stratospheric aerosol conditions in...
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