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Examining the impact of the 2023 forest fire season on air composition and quality in Southern Ontario

The Canadian wildfire season of 2023 broke several records. Large scale burning resulted in wide-reaching long-range transport of smoke plumes and their associated trace-gases. Southern Ontario experienced several days of decreased air quality as a result of this. This talk examines 3 events in detail, where smoke plume characteristics were measured in Toronto and Egbert Ontario. Biomass burning tracers CO, C2H6, CH3OH, HCN, HCOOH, NH3 and O3 are assessed using measurements from high resolution Fourier Transform Infrared  (FTIR) spectrometers. Coincident enhancements of CO and the other gases are examined to assess enhancement ratios. Plume travel is assessed with HYSPLIT back trajectories and MOPITT CO mapping. Additional sources of plume assessment are surface CO, PM2.5 and O3 measurements from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) Environment Canada’s , MPLNET aerosol optical depth and EM/27SUN CO columns. GEM-MACH FireWork is compared to 0 – 10 km partial column measurements made by the high-resolution FTIR instruments. This shows that generally CO, NH3 and O3 are underpredicted by GEM-MACH, but may be overestimated during downwind fire events.

Host: Aleksandra Elias Chereque
Event series  Brewer-Wilson Seminar Series