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  1. Abstract. Fires emit sufficient sulfur to affect local and regional airquality and climate. This study analyzes SO2 emission factors andvariability in smoke plumes from US wildfires and agricultural fires, as well as theirrelationship to sulfate and hydroxymethanesulfonate (HMS) formation.Observed SO2 emission factors for various fuel types show goodagreement with the latest reviews of biomass burning emission factors,producing an emission factor range of 0.47–1.2 g SO2 kg−1 C.These emission factors vary with geographic location in a way that suggeststhat deposition of coal burning emissions and application ofsulfur-containing fertilizers likely play a role in the larger observedvalues, which are primarily associated with agricultural burning. A 0-D boxmodel generally reproduces the observed trends of SO2 and total sulfate(inorganic + organic) in aging wildfire plumes. In many cases, modeled HMSis consistent with the observed organosulfur concentrations. However, acomparison of observed organosulfur and modeled HMS suggests that multipleorganosulfur compounds are likely responsible for the observations but thatthe chemistry of these compounds yields similar production and loss rates asthat of HMS, resulting in good agreement with the modeled results. Weprovide suggestions for constraining the organosulfur compounds observedduring these flights, and we show that the chemistry of HMS can alloworganosulfur to act as an S(IV) reservoir under conditions of pH > 6 andmore »liquid water content>10−7 g sm−3. This canfacilitate long-range transport of sulfur emissions, resulting in increasedSO2 and eventually sulfate in transported smoke.« less
  2. Abstract. Reactions of the hydroxyl (OH) and peroxy (HO2 and RO2) radicals playa central role in the chemistry of the atmosphere. In addition to controlling the lifetimes ofmany trace gases important to issues of global climate change, OH radical reactionsinitiate the oxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can lead to the production ofozone and secondary organic aerosols in the atmosphere. Previous measurements of these radicalsin forest environments characterized by high mixing ratios of isoprene and low mixing ratios ofnitrogen oxides (NOx) (typically less than 1–2 ppb) have shown seriousdiscrepancies with modeled concentrations. These results bring into question our understanding ofthe atmospheric chemistry of isoprene and other biogenic VOCs under low NOxconditions. During the summer of 2015, OH and HO2 radical concentrations, as well as totalOH reactivity, were measured using laser-induced fluorescence–fluorescence assay by gasexpansion (LIF-FAGE) techniques as part of the Indiana Radical Reactivity and Ozone productioN InterComparison (IRRONIC). This campaign took place in a forested area near Indiana University's Bloomington campus which is characterized by high mixing ratios of isoprene (average daily maximum ofapproximately 4 ppb at 28 ∘C) and low mixing ratios of NO (diurnal averageof approximately 170 ppt). Supporting measurements of photolysis rates, VOCs,NOx, and other species were used to constrain a zero-dimensional boxmore »model basedon the Regional Atmospheric Chemistry Mechanism (RACM2) and the Master Chemical Mechanism (MCM 3.2),including versions of the Leuven isoprene mechanism (LIM1) for HOx regeneration(RACM2-LIM1 and MCM 3.3.1). Using an OH chemical scavenger technique, the study revealed thepresence of an interference with the LIF-FAGE measurements of OH that increased with bothambient concentrations of ozone and temperature with an average daytime maximum equivalentOH concentration of approximately 5×106 cm−3. Subtraction of theinterference resulted in measured OH concentrations of approximately4×106 cm−3 (average daytime maximum) that were in better agreement with modelpredictions although the models underestimated the measurements in the evening. The addition ofversions of the LIM1 mechanism increased the base RACM2 and MCM 3.2 modeled OH concentrationsby approximately 20 % and 13 %, respectively, with the RACM2-LIM1 mechanism providing thebest agreement with the measured concentrations, predicting maximum daily OH concentrationsto within 30 % of the measured concentrations. Measurements of HO2 concentrationsduring the campaign (approximately a 1×109 cm−3 average daytime maximum)included a fraction of isoprene-based peroxy radicals(HO2*=HO2+αRO2) and were found to agree with modelpredictions to within 10 %–30 %. On average, the measured reactivity was consistent with thatcalculated from measured OH sinks to within 20 %, with modeled oxidation productsaccounting for the missing reactivity, however significant missing reactivity (approximately40 % of the total measured reactivity) was observed on some days.« less
  3. Abstract. Smoke from wildfires is a significant source of air pollution, which can adversely impact air quality and ecosystems downwind. With the recently increasing intensity and severity of wildfires, the threat to air quality is expected to increase. Satellite-derived biomass burning emissions can fill in gaps in the absence of aircraft or ground-based measurement campaigns and can help improve the online calculation of biomass burning emissions as well as the biomass burning emissions inventories that feed air quality models. This study focuses on satellite-derived NOx emissions using the high-spatial-resolution TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) NO2 dataset. Advancements and improvements to the satellite-based determination of forest fire NOx emissions are discussed, including information on plume height and effects of aerosol scattering and absorption on the satellite-retrieved vertical column densities. Two common top-down emission estimation methods, (1) an exponentially modified Gaussian (EMG) and (2) a flux method, are applied to synthetic data to determine the accuracy and the sensitivity to different parameters, including wind fields, satellite sampling, noise, lifetime, and plume spread. These tests show that emissions can be accurately estimated from single TROPOMI overpasses.The effect of smoke aerosols on TROPOMI NO2 columns (via air mass factors, AMFs) is estimated, and these satellitemore »columns and emission estimates are compared to aircraft observations from four different aircraft campaigns measuring biomass burning plumes in 2018 and 2019 in North America. Our results indicate that applying an explicit aerosol correction to the TROPOMI NO2 columns improves the agreement with the aircraft observations (by about 10 %–25 %). The aircraft- and satellite-derived emissions are in good agreement within the uncertainties. Both top-down emissions methods work well; however, the EMG method seems to output more consistent results and has better agreement with the aircraft-derived emissions. Assuming a Gaussian plume shape for various biomass burning plumes, we estimate an average NOx e-folding time of 2 ±1 h from TROPOMI observations. Based on chemistry transport model simulations and aircraft observations, the net emissions of NOx are 1.3 to 1.5 times greater than the satellite-derived NO2 emissions. A correction factor of 1.3 to 1.5 should thus be used to infer net NOx emissions from the satellite retrievals of NO2.« less
  4. Abstract

    The oxidation of carbonyl sulfide (OCS) is the primary, continuous source of stratospheric sulfate aerosol particles, which can scatter shortwave radiation and catalyze heterogeneous reactions in the stratosphere. While it has been estimated that the oxidation of dimethyl sulfide (DMS), emitted from the surface ocean accounts for 8%–20% of the global OCS source, there is no existing DMS oxidation mechanism relevant to the marine atmosphere that is consistent with an OCS source of this magnitude. We describe new laboratory measurements and theoretical analyses of DMS oxidation that provide a mechanistic description for OCS production from hydroperoxymethyl thioformate, a ubiquitous, soluble DMS oxidation product. We incorporate this chemical mechanism into a global chemical transport model, showing that OCS production from DMS is a factor of 3 smaller than current estimates, displays a maximum in the tropics consistent with field observations and is sensitive to multiphase cloud chemistry.

  5. Abstract

    Agricultural and prescribed burning activities emit large amounts of trace gases and aerosols on regional to global scales. We present a compilation of emission factors (EFs) and emission ratios from the eastern portion of the Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality (FIREX‐AQ) campaign in 2019 in the United States, which sampled burning of crop residues and other prescribed fire fuels. FIREX‐AQ provided comprehensive chemical characterization of 53 crop residue and 22 prescribed fires. Crop residues burned at different modified combustion efficiencies (MCE), with corn residue burning at higher MCE than other fuel types. Prescribed fires burned at lower MCE (<0.90) which is typical, while grasslands burned at lower MCE (0.90) than normally observed due to moist, green, growing season fuels. Most non‐methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) were significantly anticorrelated with MCE except for ethanol and NMVOCs that were measured with less certainty. We identified 23 species where crop residue fires differed by more than 50% from prescribed fires at the same MCE. Crop residue EFs were greater for species related to agricultural chemical use and fuel composition as well as oxygenated NMVOCs possibly due to the presence of metals such as potassium. Prescribed EFs weremore »greater for monoterpenes (5×). FIREX‐AQ crop residue average EFs generally agreed with the previous agricultural fire study in the US but had large disagreements with global compilations. FIREX‐AQ observations show the importance of regionally‐specific and fuel‐specific EFs as first steps to reduce uncertainty in modeling the air quality impacts of fire emissions.

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