Warneke C, Schwarz JP, Dibb J, Kalashnikova O, Frost G, Al-Saad J, Brown SS, Brewer WA, Soja A, Seidel FC, et al. Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality (FIREX-AQ). Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres [Internet]. 2023;128 (2) :e2022JD037758. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Abstract The NOAA/NASA Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality (FIREX-AQ) experiment was a multi-agency, inter-disciplinary research effort to: (a) obtain detailed measurements of trace gas and aerosol emissions from wildfires and prescribed fires using aircraft, satellites and ground-based instruments, (b) make extensive suborbital remote sensing measurements of fire dynamics, (c) assess local, regional, and global modeling of fires, and (d) strengthen connections to observables on the ground such as fuels and fuel consumption and satellite products such as burned area and fire radiative power. From Boise, ID western wildfires were studied with the NASA DC-8 and two NOAA Twin Otter aircraft. The high-altitude NASA ER-2 was deployed from Palmdale, CA to observe some of these fires in conjunction with satellite overpasses and the other aircraft. Further research was conducted on three mobile laboratories and ground sites, and 17 different modeling forecast and analyses products for fire, fuels and air quality and climate implications. From Salina, KS the DC-8 investigated 87 smaller fires in the Southeast with remote and in-situ data collection. Sampling by all platforms was designed to measure emissions of trace gases and aerosols with multiple transects to capture the chemical transformation of these emissions and perform remote sensing observations of fire and smoke plumes under day and night conditions. The emissions were linked to fuels consumed and fire radiative power using orbital and suborbital remote sensing observations collected during overflights of the fires and smoke plumes and ground sampling of fuels.
Ye X, Deshler M, Lyapustin A, Wang Y, Kondragunta S, Saide P. Assessment of Satellite AOD during the 2020 Wildfire Season in the Western U.S. Remote Sensing [Internet]. 2022;14 (23). Publisher's VersionAbstract
Satellite remote sensing of aerosol optical depth (AOD) is essential for detection, characterization, and forecasting of wildfire smoke. In this work, we evaluate the AOD (550 nm) retrievals during the extreme wildfire events over the western U.S. in September 2020. Three products are analyzed, including the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometers (MODIS) Multi-Angle Implementation of Atmospheric Correction (MAIAC) product collections C6.0 and C6.1, and the NOAA-20 Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer (VIIRS) AOD from the NOAA Enterprise Processing System (EPS) algorithm. Compared with the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) data, all three products show strong linear correlations with MAIAC C6.1 and VIIRS presenting overall low bias (<0.06). The accuracy of MAIAC C6.1 is found to be substantially improved with respect to MAIAC C6.0 that drastically underestimated AOD over thick smoke, which validates the effectiveness of updates made in MAIAC C6.1 in terms of an improved representation of smoke aerosol optical properties. VIIRS AOD exhibits comparable uncertainty with MAIAC C6.1 with a slight tendency of increased positive bias over the AERONET AOD range of 0.5–3.0. Averaging coincident retrievals from MAIAC C6.1 and VIIRS provides a lower root mean square error and higher correlation than for the individual products, motivating the benefit of blending these datasets. MAIAC C6.1 and VIIRS are further compared to provide insights on their retrieval strategy. When gridded at 0.1° resolution, MAIAC C6.1 and VIIRS provide similar monthly AOD distribution patterns and the latter exhibits a slightly higher domain average. On daily scale, over thick plumes near fire sources, MAIAC C6.1 reports more valid retrievals where VIIRS tends to have retrievals designated as low or medium quality, which tends to be due to internal quality checks. Over transported smoke near scattered clouds, VIIRS provides better retrieval coverage than MAIAC C6.1 owing to its higher spatial resolution, pixel-level processing, and less strict cloud masking. These results can be used as a guide for applications of satellite AOD retrievals during wildfire events and provide insights on future improvement of retrieval algorithms under heavy smoke conditions.
Thapa LH, Ye X, Hair JW, Fenn MA, Shingler T, Kondragunta S, Ichoku C, Dominguez RA, Ellison L, Soja AJ, et al. Heat flux assumptions contribute to overestimation of wildfire smoke injection into the free troposphere. Communications Earth & Environment [Internet]. 2022;3 (1) :1–11. Publisher's Version
Ye X, Saide PE, Hair J, Fenn M, Shingler T, Soja A, Gargulinski E, Wiggins E. Assessing Vertical Allocation of Wildfire Smoke Emissions Using Observational Constraints From Airborne Lidar in the Western U.S. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres [Internet]. 2022;127 (21) :e2022JD036808. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Abstract Wildfire emissions are a key contributor of carbonaceous aerosols and trace gases to the atmosphere. Induced by buoyant lifting, smoke plumes can be injected into the free troposphere and lower stratosphere, which by consequence significantly affects the magnitude and distance of their influences on air quality and radiation budget. However, the vertical allocation of emissions when smoke escapes the planetary boundary layer (PBL) and the mechanism modulating it remain unclear. We present an inverse modeling framework to estimate the wildfire emissions, with their temporal and vertical evolution being constrained by assimilating aerosol extinction profiles observed from the airborne Differential Absorption Lidar-High Spectral Resolution Lidar during the Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality field campaign. Three fire events in the western U.S., which exhibit free-tropospheric injections are examined. The constrained smoke emissions indicate considerably larger fractions of smoke injected above the PBL (f>PBL, 80%–94%) versus the column total, compared to those estimated by the WRF-Chem model using the default plume rise option (12%–52%). The updated emission profiles yield improvements for the simulated vertical structures of the downwind transported smoke, but limited refinement of regional smoke aerosol optical depth distributions due to the spatiotemporal coverage of flight observations. These results highlight the significance of improving vertical allocation of fire emissions on advancing the modeling and forecasting of the environmental impacts of smoke.
Saide PE, Thapa LH, Ye X, Pagonis D, Campuzano-Jost P, Guo H, Schuneman ML, Jimenez J-L, Moore R, Wiggins E, et al. Understanding the Evolution of Smoke Mass Extinction Efficiency Using Field Campaign Measurements. Geophysical Research Letters [Internet]. 2022;49 (18) :e2022GL099175. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Abstract Aerosol mass extinction efficiency (MEE) is a key aerosol property used to connect aerosol optical properties with aerosol mass concentrations. Using measurements of smoke obtained during the Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality (FIREX-AQ) campaign we find that mid-visible smoke MEE can change by a factor of 2–3 between fresh smoke (<2 hr old) and one-day-old smoke. While increases in aerosol size partially explain this trend, changes in the real part of the aerosol refractive index (real(n)) are necessary to provide closure assuming Mie theory. Real(n) estimates derived from multiple days of FIREX-AQ measurements increase with age (from 1.40 – 1.45 to 1.5–1.54 from fresh to one-day-old) and are found to be positively correlated with organic aerosol oxidation state and aerosol size, and negatively correlated with smoke volatility. Future laboratory, field, and modeling studies should focus on better understanding and parameterizing these relationships to fully represent smoke aging.
Lee S, Song CH, Han KM, Henze DK, Lee K, Yu J, Woo J-H, Jung J, Choi Y, Saide PE, et al. Impacts of uncertainties in emissions on aerosol data assimilation and short-term PM2.5 predictions over Northeast Asia. Atmospheric Environment [Internet]. 2022;271 :118921. Publisher's VersionAbstract
To improve PM2.5 predictions in Northeast Asia, we estimated a new background error covariance matrix (BEC) for aerosol data assimilation using surface PM2.5 observations. In contrast to the conventional method of BEC estimation that uses perturbations in meteorological data, this method additionally considered the perturbations using two different emission inventories. By taking the emission uncertainty into account, we found that the standard deviations in the BEC were significantly increased. The standard deviations became around three times larger than those in the conventional method at the surface. The impacts of the new BEC were then tested for the prediction of surface PM2.5 over Northeast Asia using the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model initialized by three-dimensional variational method (3D-VAR). The surface PM2.5 data measured at 154 sites in South Korea and 1535 sites in China were assimilated every 6 h during the campaign period of the Korea-United States Air Quality Study (KORUS-AQ) (1 May–14 June 2016). The data assimilation with the new BEC showed better agreement with the surface PM2.5 observations than with the BEC from the conventional method. Our method was also more consistent with the observations in 24-h PM2.5 predictions than the conventional method (specifically, with a ∼44% reduction of negative biases). We concluded that increased standard deviations, together with updated horizontal and vertical length scales in the new BEC, improved the data assimilation and short-term predictions of the surface PM2.5. This paper also suggests several research efforts to further improve the BEC for better short-term PM2.5 predictions in Northeast Asia.
Diamond MS, Saide PE, Zuidema P, Ackerman AS, Doherty SJ, Fridlind AM, Gordon H, Howes C, Kazil J, Yamaguchi T, et al. Cloud adjustments from large-scale smoke–circulation interactions strongly modulate the southeastern Atlantic stratocumulus-to-cumulus transition. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics [Internet]. 2022;22 (18) :12113–12151. Publisher's Version
Peterson DA, Thapa LH, Saide PE, Soja AJ, Gargulinski EM, Hyer EJ, Weinzierl B, Dollner M, Schöberl M, Papin PP, et al. Measurements from inside a Thunderstorm Driven by Wildfire: The 2019 FIREX-AQ Field Experiment. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society [Internet]. 2022. Publisher's Version
Doherty SJ, Saide PE, Zuidema P, Shinozuka Y, Ferrada GA, Gordon H, Mallet M, Meyer K, Painemal D, Howell SG, et al. Modeled and observed properties related to the direct aerosol radiative effect of biomass burning aerosol over the southeastern Atlantic. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics [Internet]. 2022;22 (1) :1–46. Publisher's Version
Ye X, Arab P, Ahmadov R, James E, Grell GA, Pierce B, Kumar A, Makar P, Chen J, Davignon D, et al. Evaluation and intercomparison of wildfire smoke forecasts from multiple modeling systems for the 2019 Williams Flats fire. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics [Internet]. 2021;21 (18) :14427–14469. Publisher's Version
Pistone K, Zuidema P, Wood R, Diamond M, da Silva AM, Ferrada G, Saide PE, Ueyama R, Ryoo J-M, Pfister L, et al. Exploring the elevated water vapor signal associated with the free tropospheric biomass burning plume over the southeast Atlantic Ocean. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics [Internet]. 2021;21 (12) :9643–9668. Publisher's Version
Kumar R, Mitchell DA, Steinhoff DF, Saide P, Kosovic B, Downey N, Blewitt D, Delle Monache L. Evaluating the Mobile Flux Plane (MFP) Method to Estimate Methane Emissions Using Large Eddy Simulations (LES). Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres [Internet]. 2021;126 (5) :e2020JD032663. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Abstract This study evaluates the efficacy of the mobile flux plane (MFP) method to derive methane emissions from oil and gas production fields using a first-of-its-kind high-resolution methane concentration data set. Transport and dispersion of methane emissions from seven hypothetical well pads generated with an oil field emission simulator is simulated every second at 10 m resolution using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model in large eddy simulation mode. The time varying WRF-generated methane concentration data set is sampled by a simulated MFP system downwind of the seven well pads at five sampling distances of 50, 75, 100, 125, and 150 m. Several key findings highlight the significant variability in MFP emission rate estimates induced by atmospheric turbulence and variable source emission rates. Natural atmospheric turbulence alone was found to generate significant variability (33%–75%) in the MFP emission estimates with constant emission rates at the source location. It was also found that turbulent wind speed fluctuations over the duration of a transect can also affect MFP estimates up to about ±50% through convergence (divergence) that increases (decreases) methane concentrations, and by its effect on the assumption of steady winds over the duration of the transect. It was further found that the MFP method typically estimated about 19%–33% and 51%–75% of known site emission rates using the trapezoidal and Gaussian fit integration methods, respectively. Thus, methane concentrations would need to be measured to a much higher elevation to generate robust and accurate methane emission rate estimates.
Redemann J, Wood R, Zuidema P, Doherty SJ, Luna B, LeBlanc SE, Diamond MS, Shinozuka Y, Chang IY, Ueyama R, et al. An overview of the ORACLES (ObseRvations of Aerosols above CLouds and their intEractionS) project: aerosol–cloud–radiation interactions in the southeast Atlantic basin. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics [Internet]. 2021;21 (3) :1507–1563. Publisher's Version
Shinozuka Y, Saide PE, Ferrada GA, Burton SP, Ferrare R, Doherty SJ, Gordon H, Longo K, Mallet M, Feng Y, et al. Modeling the smoky troposphere of the southeast Atlantic: a comparison to ORACLES airborne observations from September of 2016. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics [Internet]. 2020;20 (19) :11491–11526. Publisher's Version
Saide PE, Gao M, Lu Z, Goldberg DL, Streets DG, Woo J-H, Beyersdorf A, Corr CA, Thornhill KL, Anderson B, et al. Understanding and improving model representation of aerosol optical properties for a Chinese haze event measured during KORUS-AQ. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics [Internet]. 2020;20 (11) :6455–6478. Publisher's Version
Choi S, Lamsal LN, Follette-Cook M, Joiner J, Krotkov NA, Swartz WH, Pickering KE, Loughner CP, Appel W, Pfister G, et al. Assessment of NO2 observations during DISCOVER-AQ and KORUS-AQ field campaigns. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques [Internet]. 2020;13 (5) :2523–2546. Publisher's Version
Lee S, Song CH, Han KM, Henze DK, Lee K, Yu J, Woo J-H, Jung J, Choi Y, Saide PE, et al. The impacts of uncertainties in emissions on aerosol data assimilation and short-term PM2.5 predictions in CMAQ v5.2.1 over East Asia. Geoscientific Model Development Discussions [Internet]. 2020;2020 :1–31. Publisher's Version
Choi M, Lim H, Kim J, Lee S, Eck TF, Holben BN, Garay MJ, Hyer EJ, Saide PE, Liu H. Validation, comparison, and integration of GOCI, AHI, MODIS, MISR, and VIIRS aerosol optical depth over East Asia during the 2016 KORUS-AQ campaign. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques [Internet]. 2019;12 (8) :4619–4641. Publisher's Version
Mallet M, Nabat P, Zuidema P, Redemann J, Sayer AM, Stengel M, Schmidt S, Cochrane S, Burton S, Ferrare R, et al. Simulation of the transport, vertical distribution, optical properties and radiative impact of smoke aerosols with the ALADIN regional climate model during the ORACLES-2016 and LASIC experiments. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics [Internet]. 2019;19 (7) :4963–4990. Publisher's Version
Kumar R, Delle Monache L, Bresch J, Saide PE, Tang Y, Liu Z, da Silva AM, Alessandrini S, Pfister G, Edwards D, et al. Toward Improving Short-Term Predictions of Fine Particulate Matter Over the United States Via Assimilation of Satellite Aerosol Optical Depth Retrievals. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres [Internet]. 2019;124 (5) :2753-2773. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Abstract This study develops a new approach to improve simulations of the particulate matter of aerodynamic diameter smaller than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) in the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model via assimilation of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aerosol optical depth (AOD) retrievals using the Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) system. In contrast to previous studies that only consider errors due to transport, our computation of the background error covariance matrix incorporates uncertainties in anthropogenic emissions. To understand the impact of this approach, three experiments (one background and two assimilations) are performed over the contiguous United States (CONUS) from 15 July to 14 August 2014. The background CMAQ experiment significantly underestimates both the MODIS AOD and surface PM2.5 levels. MODIS AOD assimilation pushes both the CMAQ AOD and surface PM2.5 distributions toward the observed distributions, but CMAQ still underestimates the observations. Averaged over CONUS, the two assimilation experiments with and without including the anthropogenic emission uncertainties improve the correlation coefficient between the model and independent observations of PM2.5 by  67% and  48%, respectively, and reduces the mean bias by  38% and  10%, respectively. The assimilation improves the model performance everywhere over CONUS, except the New York and Wisconsin, where CMAQ overestimates the observed PM2.5 during nighttime after assimilation likely because of overcorrection of aerosol mass concentrations by the AOD assimilation. Future work should incorporate uncertainties in other processes (biomass burning and biogenic emissions, deposition, chemistry, transport, and boundary conditions) to further enhance the value of assimilating spaceborne AOD retrievals.