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FTIR Measurements of Biomass Burning Species in the Arctic

Biomass burning is a considerable source of emissions for CO, HCN and C 2 H 6 . These species are radiative and photochemically active and may have a significant effect on the Arctic climate system. Quantifying the effects of pollution from biomass burning on Arctic climate is difficult as a result of the lack of adequate knowledge on the emissions. The emissions of biomass burning are highly dependent on the type of vegetation burned which are characterized by an emission factor.

Ground-based Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer measurements provide a means of monitoring trace-gas abundances in the Arctic. In this work, I use measurements provided by three FTIR instruments located at Eureka, Nunavut (80.02°N, 86.42°W), Thule, Greenland (76.53°N , 68.74°W) and Poker Flat, Alaska (65°N, 147°W) . Enhancements in the total column amounts of each species are observed for all three sites in August 2010 and attributed to fires near Moscow, Russia. The observed enhancements allow for the emission factors of HCN and C 2 H 6 to be calculated. The emission factors determined in this work show good agreement with literature values and provide additional observations in a effort to reduce the uncertainty on the knowledge of biomass burning emissions.