Californian Wildfire Smoke Over Europe: A First Example of the Aerosol Observing Capabilities of Aeolus Compared to Ground-Based Lidar

Baars, Holger ; Radenz, Martin ; Floutsi, Athena Augusta ; Engelmann, Ronny ; Althausen, Dietrich ; Heese, Birgit ; Ansmann, Albert ; Flament, Thomas ; Dabas, Alain ; Trapon, Dimitri ; Reitebuch, Oliver ; Bley, Sebastian ; Wandinger, Ulla

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<p align=justify>In September 2020, extremely strong wildfires in the western United States of America (i.e., mainly in California) produced large amounts of smoke, which was lifted into the free troposphere. These biomass-burning-aerosol (BBA) layers were transported from the US west coast toward central Europe within 3-4 days turning the sky milky and receiving high media attention. The present study characterizes this pronounced smoke plume above Leipzig, Germany, using a ground-based multiwavelength-Raman-polarization lidar and the aerosol/cloud product of ESA's wind lidar mission Aeolus. An exceptional high smoke-AOT >0.4 was measured, yielding to a mean mass concentration of 8 μg m−3. The 355 nm lidar ratio was moderate at around 40-50 sr. The Aeolus-derived backscatter, extinction and lidar ratio profiles agree well with the observations of the ground-based lidar PollyXT considering the fact that Aeolus' aerosol and cloud products are still preliminary and subject to ongoing algorithm improvements.</p>
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