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Pyrocumulonimbus Events over British Columbia in August 2017: Results from the NASA GEOS Earth System Model

Metadata Updated: December 6, 2023

Model data associated with the manuscript submitted in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Journal, titled, " Pyrocumulonimbus Events over British Columbia in 2017: The Long-term Transport and Radiative Impacts of Smoke Aerosols in the Stratosphere".

Abstract. Interactions of meteorology with wildfires in British Columbia, Canada during August 2017 led to three major pyrocumulonimbus (pyroCb) events that resulted in the injection of large amounts of smoke aerosols and other combustion products at the local upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS). These plumes of UTLS smoke with elevated values of aerosol extinction and backscatter compared to the background state were readily tracked by multiple satellite-based instruments as they spread across the Northern Hemisphere (NH). The plumes resided in the lower stratosphere for about 8-10 months following the fire injections. To investigate the radiative impacts of these events on the Earth system, we performed a number of simulations with the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM). Observations from multiple remote-sensing instruments were used to calibrate the injection parameters (location, amount, composition, and heights) and optical properties of the smoke aerosols in the model. The resulting simulations of three-dimensional smoke transport were evaluated for a year from the day of injections using daily observations from OMPS-LP (Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite Limb Profiler). The model simulated rate of ascent, hemispheric spread, and residence time of the smoke aerosols in the stratosphere are in close agreement with OMPS-LP observations. We found that both aerosol self-lofting and the large-scale atmospheric motion play important roles in lifting the smoke plumes from near the tropopause altitudes (~12 km) to about 22-23 km into the atmosphere. Further, our estimations of the radiative impacts of the pyroCb-emitted smoke aerosols showed that the smoke caused additional warming of the atmosphere by about 0.6-1 W/m2 (zonal mean) that persisted for about 2-3 months after the injections in regions north of 40oN. The surface experienced a comparable magnitude of cooling. The atmospheric warming is mainly located in the stratosphere, coincident with the location of the smoke plumes, leading to an increase in zonal mean shortwave (SW) heating rates of 0.02-0.04 K/day during September 2017.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: Creative Commons CCZero

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Metadata Created Date December 1, 2022
Metadata Updated Date December 6, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from NASA Data.json

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date December 1, 2022
Metadata Updated Date December 6, 2023
Data First Published 2020-11-18
Language en-US
Data Last Modified 2023-01-31
Category Earth Science
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Data Quality True
Harvest Object Id e44d19b6-8af5-41b2-b1cb-b6b826a46911
Harvest Source Id 58f92550-7a01-4f00-b1b2-8dc953bd598f
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Homepage URL
Program Code 026:001
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 6367aae10096fa48a163bd8c3e2899972ed8792dcfaa58b3a0a73ddbed1d12e0
Source Schema Version 1.1
Temporal 2017-08-13/2018-07-31

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