A Quantitative Assessment of the 1998 Carbon Monoxide Emission Anomaly in the Northern Hemisphere Based on Total Column and Surface Concentration Measurements
Journal article, 2004
Carbon monoxide abundances in the atmosphere have been measured between January 1996 and December 2001 in the high Northern Hemisphere (HNH) (30degrees-90degreesN) using two different approaches: total column amounts of CO retrieved from infrared solar spectra and CO mixing ratios measured in situ at ground-based stations. The data were averaged, and anomalies of the CO HNH burden ( deviations of the total tropospheric mass between 30degreesN and 90degreesN from the mean seasonal profile, determined as the 5 year average) were analyzed. The anomalies obtained from in situ and total column data agree well and both show two maxima, by far the largest in October 1998 and a lower one in August 1996. A noticeable decrease of the positive 1998 summer anomaly with increasing height was found. A box model was applied, and anomalies in source rates were obtained under the assumption of insignificant interannual sink variations. In August 1998 the HNH emission anomaly was estimated to be 38 Tg month(-1). The annual 1998 emission positive anomaly was 96 Tg yr(-1). Nearly all excess CO may be attributed to the emissions from boreal forest fires. According to available inventories, biomass burning emits around 52 Tg yr(-1) during the "normal'' years; therefore total biomass emissions in 1998 were as large as 148 Tg yr(-1). In August 1998, CO contribution from the biomass burning was twice as large as that from fossil fuel combustion. The results were compared to available emission inventories.