Modeling the effect of plume-rise on the transport of carbon monoxide over Africa with NCAR CAM
- 1Bay Area Environmental Research Institute, Sonoma, CA, USA
- 2NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, USA
- 3Center for Weather Forecasting and Climate Studies (CPTEC), INPE, Cachoeira Paulista, Brazil
Abstract. We investigated the effects of fire-induced plume-rise on the simulation of carbon monoxide (CO) over Africa and its export during SAFARI 2000 using the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM) with a CO tracer and a plume-rise parameterization scheme. The plume-rise parameterization scheme simulates the consequences of strong buoyancy of hot gases emitted from biomass burning, including both dry and cloud-associated (pyro-cumulus) lofting. The current implementation of the plume-rise parameterization scheme into the global model provides an opportunity to examine the effect of plume-rise on long-range transport. The CAM simulation with the plume-rise parameterization scheme seems to show a substantial improvement of the agreements between the modeled and aircraft-measured vertical distribution of CO over Southern Africa biomass-burning area. The plume-rise mechanism plays a crucial role in lofting biomass-burning pollutants to the middle troposphere. In the presence of deep convection we found that the plume-rise mechanism results in a decrease of CO concentration in the upper troposphere. The plume-rise depletes the boundary layer, and thus leaves lower concentrations of CO to be lofted by the deep convection process. The effect of the plume-rise on free troposphere CO concentration is more important for the source area (short-distance transport) than for remote areas (long-distance transport). A budget analysis of CO burden over Southern Africa reveals the plume-rise process to have a similar impact as the chemical production of CO by OH and CH4. In addition, the plume-rise process has an minor impact on the regional export. These results further confirm and extend previous findings in a regional model study. Effective lofting of large concentration of CO by the plume-rise mechanism also has implications for local air quality forecasting in areas affected by other fire-related pollutants.