How much CO was emitted by the 2010 fires around Moscow?
Abstract. The fires around Moscow in July and August 2010 emitted a large amount of pollutants to the atmosphere. Here we estimate the carbon monoxide (CO) source strength of the Moscow fires in July and August by using the TM5-4DVAR system in combination with CO column observations of the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI). It is shown that the IASI observations provide a strong constraint on the total emissions needed in the model. Irrespective of the prior emissions used, the optimised CO fire emission estimates from mid-July to mid-August 2010 amount to approximately 24 Tg CO. This estimate depends only weakly (< 15%) on the assumed diurnal variations and injection height of the emissions. However, the estimated emissions might depend on unaccounted model uncertainties such as vertical transport. Our emission estimate of 22–27 Tg CO during roughly one month of intense burning is less than suggested by another recent study, but substantially larger than predicted by the bottom-up inventories. This latter discrepancy suggests that bottom-up emission estimates for extreme peat burning events require improvements.