Biomass burning and fossil fuel signatures in the upper troposphere observed during a CARIBIC flight from Namibia to Germany

J Mühle, F Slemr, TS Rhee, CAM Brenninkmeijer, DE Oram, SA Penkett, A Zahn

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During a CARIBIC flight from Namibia to Germany in July 2000, air influenced by recent convective injection of biomass burning emissions was intersected in the vicinity of the ITCZ at an altitude of 10 km. The observed CO enhancement ratios for non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) and methyl halides are consistent with those reported for fresh biomass burning plumes. Air masses affected by transcontinental transport of natural gas emissions, most probably from the Gulf of Mexico, were encountered over the Mediterranean Sea. These are one of the few observations of deep convection of biomass burning emissions to the upper troposphere and of long range transport of natural gas emissions reported so far. The observations demonstrate the importance of deep convection for the chemistry of the upper troposphere and the potential of commercial aircraft for atmospheric research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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