The impact of biomass burning on upper tropospheric carbon monoxide: a study using MOCAGE global model and IAGOS airborne data

Cussac, Martin ; Marécal, Virginie ; Thouret, Valérie ; Josse, Béatrice ; Sauvage, Bastien

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<p align=justify>In this paper, the fate of biomass burning emissions of carbon monoxide is studied with the global chemistry-transport model MOCAGE (MOdélisation de Chimie Atmosphérique à Grande Échelle) and IAGOS (In-Service Aircraft for a Global Observing System) airborne measurements for the year 2013. The objectives are firstly to improve their representation within the model and secondly to analyse their contribution to carbon monoxide concentrations in the upper troposphere. At first, a new implementation of biomass burning injection is developed for MOCAGE, using the latest products available in Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS) biomass burning inventory on plume altitude and injection height. This method is validated against IAGOS observations of CO made in fire plumes, identified thanks to the SOFT-IO source attribution data. The use of these GFAS products leads to improved MOCAGE skill to simulate fire plumes originating from boreal forest wildfires. It is also shown that this new biomass burning injection method modifies the distribution of carbon monoxide in the free and upper troposphere, mostly at northern boreal latitudes. Then, MOCAGE performance is evaluated in general in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere in comparison to the IAGOS observations and is shown to be very good, with very low bias and good correlations between the model and the observations. Finally, we analyse the contribution of biomass burning to upper tropospheric carbon monoxide concentrations. This is done by comparing simulations where biomass are toggled on and off in different source regions of the world to assess their individual influence. The two regions contributing the most to upper tropospheric CO are found to be the boreal forests and equatorial Africa, in accordance with the quantities of CO they emit each year and the fact that they undergo fast vertical transport: deep convection in the tropics and pyroconvection at high latitudes. It is also found that biomass burning contributes more than 11 % on average to the CO concentrations in the upper troposphere and up to 50 % at high latitudes during the wildfire season.</p>
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