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Detecting the Transport of Wildfire Emissions to the Arctic using a Network of Ground-based FTIR Spectrometers


Each summer, wildfires in Canada, United States and Russia present a considerable contribution to aerosol and traces gas emissions to the atmosphere. Emissions from these events may then undergo long-range transport from mid-latitude regions to the Arctic. Due to the spatial and temporal variabilities of wildfire events, the transport pathways and the influence of wildfire emissions on the Arctic remain uncertain.

In this talk, I will present the time series of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and ethane (C2H6) measured by a network of ground-based Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers in the Northern Hemisphere. These trace gas species are emitted in large abundances from wildfires and their long lifetimes, ranging from several weeks to months, make them suitable tracers of wildfire emissions. For each time series, a Fourier series is fitted which yields the seasonal and long-term trends of each species. The fitted Fourier series also provides a means of detecting enhancements due to pollution from wildfire events. From the detected enhancements, long-range transport of wildfire pollution to the Arctic is observed.