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Emission ratio and isotopic signatures of molecular hydrogen emissions from tropical biomass burning

by F. A. Haumann, A. M. Batenburg, G. Pieterse, C. Gerbig, M. C. Krol, T. R??ckmann
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()
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In this study, we identify a biomass-burning signal in molecular\nhydrogen (H-2) over the Amazonian tropical rainforest. To quantify this\nsignal, we measure the mixing ratios of H-2 and several other species as\nwell as the H-2 isotopic composition in air samples that were collected\nin the BARCA (Balanco Atmosferico Regional de Carbono na Amazonia)\naircraft campaign during the dry season. We derive a relative H-2\nemission ratio with respect to carbon monoxide (CO) of 0.31 +/- 0.04 ppb\nppb(-1) and an isotopic source signature of -280 +/- 41 parts per\nthousand in the air masses influenced by tropical biomass burning. In\norder to retrieve a clear source signal that is not influenced by the\nsoil uptake of H-2, we exclude samples from the atmospheric boundary\nlayer. This procedure is supported by data from a global chemistry\ntransport model. The Delta H-2/Delta CO emission ratio is significantly\nlower than some earlier estimates for the tropical rainforest. In\naddition, our results confirm the lower values of the previously\nconflicting estimates of the H-2 isotopic source signature from biomass\nburning. These values for the emission ratio and isotopic source\nsignatures of H-2 from tropical biomass burning can be used in future\nbottom-up and top-down approaches aiming to constrain the strength of\nthe biomass-burning source for H-2. Hitherto, these two quantities\nrelied only on combustion experiments or on statistical relations, since\nno direct signal had been obtained from in-situ observations.

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