Articles | Volume 9, issue 14
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 4929–4944, 2009

Special issue: MILAGRO/INTEX-B 2006

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 4929–4944, 2009

  24 Jul 2009

24 Jul 2009

Biomass burning and urban air pollution over the Central Mexican Plateau

J. D. Crounse1, P. F. DeCarlo2,*, D. R. Blake3, L. K. Emmons4, T. L. Campos4, E. C. Apel4, A. D. Clarke5, A. J. Weinheimer4, D. C. McCabe7,**, R. J. Yokelson6, J. L. Jimenez2, and P. O. Wennberg7,8 J. D. Crounse et al.
  • 1Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
  • 2University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3Department of Chemistry, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA
  • 4National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 5Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii, USA
  • 6Department of Chemistry, University of Montana, Missoula, MT, USA
  • 7Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 8Division of Engineering and Applied Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • *now at: Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland
  • **now at: AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., USA

Abstract. Observations during the 2006 dry season of highly elevated concentrations of cyanides in the atmosphere above Mexico City (MC) and the surrounding plains demonstrate that biomass burning (BB) significantly impacted air quality in the region. We find that during the period of our measurements, fires contribute more than half of the organic aerosol mass and submicron aerosol scattering, and one third of the enhancement in benzene, reactive nitrogen, and carbon monoxide in the outflow from the plateau. The combination of biomass burning and anthropogenic emissions will affect ozone chemistry in the MC outflow.

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