Characterization and source regions of 51 high-CO events observed during Civil Aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the Atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container (CARIBIC) flights between south China and the Philippines, 2005-2008

S.C. Lai, A.K. Baker, T.J. Schuck, F. Slemr, C.A.M. Brenninkmeijer, P. Van Velthoven, D.E. Oram, A. Zahn, H. Ziereis

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Carbon monoxide (CO) and other atmospheric trace constituents were measured from onboard an Airbus 340-600 passenger aircraft in the upper troposphere (UT) between south China and the Philippines during Civil Aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the Atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container (CARIBIC) flights from May 2005 until March 2008. A total of 132 events having CO enhancements were observed in the UT over the region during the 81 CARIBIC flights from Frankfurt, Germany, to Manila, Philippines, with a stopover in Guangzhou, China. Among these, 51 high-CO events with enhancements more than 50 ppb above background were observed. For these events enhancements ranged from 52.7 to 221.3 ppb and persisted for 3 to 78 min (∼40 to 1200 km), indicating an influence of strong pollution from biomass/biofuel/fossil fuel burning on the trace gas composition of the UT. Back trajectory analysis shows that south China, the Indochinese Peninsula, and the Philippines/Indonesia are the main source regions of the high-CO events. The composition of air parcels originating from south China was found to be primarily influenced by anthropogenic urban/industrial emissions, while emissions from biomass/biofuel burning contributed substantially to CO enhancements from the Indochinese Peninsula. During the Philippines/Indonesia events, air parcel composition suggests contributions from both biomass/biofuel burning and urban/industrial sources. Long-range transport of air parcels from northeast Asia and India also contributed to CO enhancements in the UT over the region. The general features of regional influence, typical cases, and the contributions of biomass/biofuel burning and anthropogenic emissions are presented and discussed to characterize the air parcels during the observed high-CO events.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberD20308
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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