Articles | Volume 20, issue 6
Research article
20 Mar 2020
Research article |  | 20 Mar 2020

Severe Californian wildfires in November 2018 observed from space: the carbon monoxide perspective

Oliver Schneising, Michael Buchwitz, Maximilian Reuter, Heinrich Bovensmann, and John P. Burrows

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Zonal variability of methane trends derived from satellite data
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This preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
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Advances in retrieving XCH4 and XCO from Sentinel-5 Precursor: improvements in the scientific TROPOMI/WFMD algorithm
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Cited articles

Bauduin, S., Clarisse, L., Theunissen, M., George, M., Hurtmans, D., Clerbaux, C., and Coheur, P.-F.: IASI's sensitivity to near-surface carbon monoxide (CO): Theoretical analyses and retrievals on test cases, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Ra., 189, 428–440,, 2017. a
Bay Area Air Quality Management District: A Winter Spare the Air Alert is being called through Monday, November 12, due to smoke impacts from the Butte County fire, Press Release, November 9, available at: (last access: 20 January 2020), 2018. a
Borsdorff, T., aan de Brugh, J., Hu, H., Hasekamp, O., Sussmann, R., Rettinger, M., Hase, F., Gross, J., Schneider, M., Garcia, O., Stremme, W., Grutter, M., Feist, D. G., Arnold, S. G., De Mazière, M., Kumar Sha, M., Pollard, D. F., Kiel, M., Roehl, C., Wennberg, P. O., Toon, G. C., and Landgraf, J.: Mapping carbon monoxide pollution from space down to city scales with daily global coverage, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 5507–5518,, 2018. a, b
Borsdorff, T., Andrasec, J., aan de Brugh, J., Hu, H., Aben, I., and Landgraf, J.: Detection of carbon monoxide pollution from cities and wildfires on regional and urban scales: the benefit of CO column retrievals from SCIAMACHY 2.3 µm measurements under cloudy conditions, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 2553–2565,, 2018b. a
Bovensmann, H., Burrows, J. P., Buchwitz, M., Frerick, J., Noël, S., Rozanov, V. V., Chance, K. V., and Goede, A. P. H.: SCIAMACHY – Mission Objectives and Measurement Modes, J. Atmos. Sci., 56, 127–150,<0127:SMOAMM>2.0.CO;2, 1999. a
Short summary
As a consequence of climate change, droughts in California are occurring more often, providing ample fuel for destructive wildfires. The associated smoke is reducing air quality as it contains pollutants considered harmful to public health and the environment such as carbon monoxide (CO). We analyse the statewide distribution of CO during the first days of two specific wildfires using satellite measurements and assess the corresponding air quality burden in major Californian cities.
Final-revised paper