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Proceedings Paper

Biomass burning emissions from satellite observations: synergistic use of formaldehyde (HCHO), fire counts, and surface temperature
Author(s): Thierry Marbach; Steffen Beirle; Cheng Liu; Ulrich Platt; Thomas Wagner
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Paper Abstract

Satellite observations provide unique opportunities for the identification of trace gas sources on a global scale. We present case studies for the synergistic use of satellite observations by comparing formaldehyde (HCHO) time series with fire count measurements as well as with surface temperature to identify the tropospheric sources of HCHO. The fire counts and temperature are taken as proxy for biomass burning events and vegetation activity, respectively. Both are sources of HCHO, either direct or trough photochemical oxidation of non-methane hydrocarbons (e.g. biogenic isoprene emissions). Formaldehyde time series are derived from satellite observations made by the GOME instrument. This instrument provides almost 8 years of continuous HCHO global observations, which constitute an ideal case to calculate time series over specific regions for various trace gases. Nine regions have been selected to investigate the influence of fire counts (biomass burning proxy) and the temperature (vegetation activity proxy) on the HCHO tropospheric columns. The chosen time series has a length of 6 years (from July 1996 to June 2002). The results show that biogenic sources of HCHO are in many cases the strongest HCHO sources. For example over south east of the USA, the correlation with temperature was very high indicating a strong biogenic source of HCHO (through isoprene emissions). The biomass burning source typically shows more pronounced seasonal patterns or is even of sporadic nature. Over the Amazon region, the correlation with fires is high indicating that in this area most of the HCHO is caused by biomass burning. In several other regions for both sources moderate correlation coefficients were found.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 August 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7089, Remote Sensing of Fire: Science and Application, 70890J (27 August 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.793654
Show Author Affiliations
Thierry Marbach, Max-Planck Institut for Chemistry (Germany)
Steffen Beirle, Max-Planck Institut for Chemistry (Germany)
Cheng Liu, Max-Planck Institut for Chemistry (Germany)
Ulrich Platt, Institut of Environmental Physics (Germany)
Thomas Wagner, Max-Planck Institut for Chemistry (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7089:
Remote Sensing of Fire: Science and Application
Wei Min Hao, Editor(s)

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