Ozone production from the 2004 North American boreal fires

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We examine the ozone production from boreal forest fires based on a case study of wildfires in Alaska and Canada in summer 2004. The model simulations were performed with the chemistry transport model, MOZART-4, and were evaluated by comparison with a comprehensive set of aircraft measurements. In the analysis we use measurements and model simulations of carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone (O < inf> 3 ) at the PICO-NARE station located in the Azores within the pathway of North American outflow. The modeled mixing ratios were used to test the robustness of the enhancement ratio ΔO < inf> 3 /ΔCO (defined as the excess O < inf> 3 mixing ratio normalized by the increase in CO) and the feasibility for using this ratio in estimating the O < inf> 3 production from the wildfires. Modeled and observed enhancement ratios are about 0.25 ppbv/ppbv which is in the range of values found in the literature and results in a global net O < inf> 3 production of 12.9 ± 2 Tg O < inf> 3 during summer 2004. This matches the net O < inf> 3 production calculated in the model for a region extending from Alaska to the east Atlantic (9-11 Tg O < inf> 3 ) indicating that observations at PICO-NARE representing photochemically well aged plumes provide a good measure of the O < inf> 3 production of North American boreal fires. However, net chemical loss of fire-related O < inf> 3 dominates in regions far downwind from the fires (e.g., Europe and Asia) resulting in a global net O < inf> 3 production of 6 Tg O < inf> 3 during the same time period. On average, the fires increased the O < inf> 3 burden (surface -300 mbar) over Alaska and Canada during summer 2004 by about 7-9% and over Europe by about 2-3%. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

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Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres