Column Carbon Monoxide (CO) from Canada Wildfires

  • Released Saturday, July 22, 2023
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Aerosols and trace gases emitted from wildfires are an important component of the Earth-atmosphere system as they can impact radiation, clouds, the carbon cycle, and human health. Produced by the GMAO using observations from MODIS, the Quick Fire Emissions Dataset (QFED) serves as a top-down estimate of aerosol and trace gas emissions to be used as the input for constituent modeling within the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS). Upon emission into GEOS through the GOCART aerosol module, aerosols and trace gases are transported via the dynamics in the model, while aerosols are also coupled to radiative and moist model processes. A feature unique to carbon monoxide (CO) emitted in response to wildfires within GEOS is that it can be tagged based on its region of origin.

In the spring of 2023, the Canadian biomass burning season had an early and aggressive start, saturating the troposphere with smoke. The accumulated emission of CO from biomass burning across Canada was quadruple the previous maximum from the past two decades since the launch of MODIS. This animation demonstrates the transport of total column CO that originated due to biomass burning over North America during the first week of June in 2023 using the GEOS Forward Processing (FP) system. Though emissions are localized, as shown by the red triangles indicating fire hotspots based on QFED, CO from biomass burning is transported thousands of miles and can have a widespread impact.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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This page was originally published on Saturday, July 22, 2023.
This page was last updated on Monday, January 29, 2024 at 12:39 AM EST.