Transport of biomass burning smoke to the upper troposphere by deep convection in the equatorial region

  • Andreae M
  • Artaxo P
  • Fischer H
 et al. 
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During LBA-CLAIRE-98, we found atmospheric layers with aged biomass smoke at altitudes >10 km over Suriname. CO, CO2, acetonitrile, methyl chloride, hydrocarbons, NO, O-3, and aerosols were strongly enhanced in these layers. We estimate that 80-95% of accumulation mode aerosols had been removed during convective transport. Trajectories show that the plumes originated from large fires near the Brazil/Venezuela border during March 1998. This smoke was entrained into deep convection over the northern Amazon, transported out over the Pacific, and then returned to South America by the circulation around a large upper-level anticyclone. Our observations provide evidence for the importance of deep convection in the equatorial region as a mechanism to transport large amounts of pyrogenic pollutants into the upper troposphere. The entrainment of biomass smoke into tropical convective clouds may have significant effects on cloud microphysics and climate dynamics.

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