Articles | Volume 10, issue 4
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 1649–1660, 2010
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 1649–1660, 2010

  15 Feb 2010

15 Feb 2010

Pollution events observed during CARIBIC flights in the upper troposphere between South China and the Philippines

S. C. Lai1, A. K. Baker1, T. J. Schuck1, P. van Velthoven2, D. E. Oram3, A. Zahn4, M. Hermann5, A. Weigelt5, F. Slemr1, C. A. M. Brenninkmeijer1, and H. Ziereis6 S. C. Lai et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Air Chemistry Division, J.-J.-Becherweg 27, 55128, Mainz, Germany
  • 2Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), P.O. Box 201, 3730 AE, de Bilt, The Netherlands
  • 3National Centre for Atmospheric Science, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
  • 4Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung (IMK), Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Weberstr. 5, 76133 Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 5Leibniz-Institut für Troposphärenforschung (IFT), Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
  • 6Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, 82230 Wessling, Germany

Abstract. A strong pollution episode in the upper troposphere between South China and the Philippines was observed during CARIBIC flights in April 2007. Five pollution events were observed, where enhancements in aerosol and trace gas concentrations including CO, CO2, CH4, non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) and halocarbons were observed along the flight tracks during four sequential flights. The importance of the contribution of biomass/biofuel burning was investigated using chemical tracers, emission factor analysis, back-trajectory analysis and satellite images. The Indochinese peninsula was identified as the probable source region of biomass/biofuel burning. However, enhancements in the urban/industrial tracer C2Cl4 during the events also indicate a substantial contribution from urban anthropogenic emissions. An estimation of the contribution of fossil fuel versus biomass/biofuel to the CO enhancement was made, indicating a biomass/biofuel burning contribution of ~54 to ~92% of the observed CO enhancements. Biomass/biofuel burning was found to be the most important source category during the sampling period.

Final-revised paper