We analyze detailed atmospheric gas/aerosol composition data acquired during the 2008 NASA ARCTAS (Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites) airborne campaign performed at high northern latitudes in spring (ARCTAS-A) and summer (ARCTAS-B) and in California in summer (ARCTAS-CARB). Biomass burning influences were widespread throughout the ARCTAS campaign. MODIS data from 2000 to 2009 indicated that 2008 had the second largest fire counts over Siberia and a more normal Canadian boreal forest fire season. Near surface arctic air in spring contained strong anthropogenic signatures indicated by high sulfate. In both spring and summer most of the pollution plumes transported to the Arctic region were from Europe and Asia and were present in the mid to upper troposphere and contained a mix of forest fire and urban influences. The gas/aerosol composition of the high latitude troposphere was strongly perturbed at all altitudes in both spring and summer. The reactive nitrogen budget was balanced with PAN as the dominant component. Mean ozone concentrations in the high latitude troposphere were only minimally perturbed (<5ppb), although many individual pollution plumes sampled in the mid to upper troposphere, and mixed with urban influences, contained elevated ozone (ΔO3/ΔCO=0.11±0.09v/v). Emission and optical characteristics of boreal and California wild fires were quantified and found to be broadly comparable. Greenhouse gas emission estimates derived from ARCTAS-CARB data for the South Coast Air Basin of California show good agreement with state inventories for CO2 and N2O but indicate substantially larger emissions of CH4. Simulations by multiple models of transport and chemistry were found to be broadly consistent with observations with a tendency towards under prediction at high latitudes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)
- Atmospheric Science