Boreal forest fires in 1997 and 1998: a seasonal comparison using transport model simulations and measurement data N. Spichtinger1, R. Damoah1, S. Eckhardt1, C. Forster1, P. James1, S. Beirle2, T. Marbach2, T. Wagner2, P. C. Novelli3, and A. Stohl4 1Department of Ecology, Technical University of Munich, Germany 2Institute for Environmental Physics, University of Heidelberg, Germany 3NOAA, Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory, Coloradoy 4Cooperative Inst. for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), Univ. of Colorado/NOAA Aeronomy Laboratory, USA
Abstract. Forest fire emissions have a strong impact on the concentrations of trace gases and
aerosols in the atmosphere.
In order to quantify the influence of boreal forest fire emissions on the
atmospheric composition, the fire seasons of 1997
and 1998 are compared in this paper. Fire activity in 1998 was
very strong, especially over Canada and Eastern Siberia, whereas it
was much weaker in 1997. According to burned area estimates the burning in 1998 was more than six times
as intense as in 1997. Based on hot spot locations derived from ATSR (Along Track
Scanning Radiometer) data and official burned area data, fire
emissions were estimated and their transport was simulated with
a Lagrangian tracer transport model. Siberian and Canadian forest fire
tracers were distinguished to investigate the transport of both
separately. The fire emissions were transported even over
intercontinental distances. Due to the El Niño induced
meteorological situation, transport from Siberia to Canada was enhanced in 1998.
Siberian fire emissions were transported towards Canada and
contributed concentrations more than twice as high as those due to
Canada's own CO emissions by fires. In 1998 both tracers arrive at higher
latitudes over Europe, which is due to a higher North Atlantic
Oscillation (NAO) index in 1998.
The simulated emission plumes are compared to CMDL (Climate Monitoring
and Diagnostics Laboratory) CO2 and CO
data, Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) aerosol index (AI) data and
Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME) tropospheric NO2 and
All the data show clearly enhanced signals during the burning season
of 1998 compared to 1997.
The results of the model simulation are in
good agreement with ground-based as well as satellite-based measurements.
Citation: Spichtinger, N., Damoah, R., Eckhardt, S., Forster, C., James, P., Beirle, S., Marbach, T., Wagner, T., Novelli, P. C., and Stohl, A.: Boreal forest fires in 1997 and 1998: a seasonal comparison using transport model simulations and measurement data, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 4, 1857-1868, doi:10.5194/acp-4-1857-2004, 2004.