Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-1201
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-1201

  30 Nov 2020

30 Nov 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

Smoke-charged vortices in the stratosphere generated by wildfires and their behaviour in both hemispheres: comparing Australia 2020 to Canada 2017

Hugo Lestrelin, Bernard Legras, Aurélien Podglajen, and Mikail Salihoglu Hugo Lestrelin et al.
  • Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, UMR CNRS 8539, IPSL, PSL-ENS/École Polytechnique/Sorbonne Université, Paris, France

Abstract. The two most intense wildfires of the last decade that took place in Canada in 2017 and Australia in 2019–2020 were followed by large injections of smoke in the stratosphere due to pyroconvection. It was discovered by Khaykin et al. (2020) and Kablick et al. (2020) that, after the Australian event, part of this smoke self-organized as anticyclonic confined vortices that rose in the mid-latitude stratosphere up to 35 km. Based on CALIOP observations and the ERA5 reanalysis, this new study analyzes the Canadian case and find, similarly, that a large plume penetrated the stratosphere by 12 August 2017 and got trapped within a meso-scale anticyclonic structure which travelled across the Atlantic. It then broke into three offsprings that could be followed until mid-October performing three round the world journeys and rising up to 23 km. We analyze the dynamical structure of the vortices produced by these two wildfires and demonstrate how they are maintained by the assimilation of data from instruments measuring the signature of the vortices in the temperature and ozone field. We propose that these vortices can be seen as bubbles of low absolute potential vorticity and smoke carried vertically across the stratification from the troposphere inside the middle stratosphere by their internal heating, against the descending flux of the Brewer-Dobson circulation.

Hugo Lestrelin et al.

 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Hugo Lestrelin et al.

Hugo Lestrelin et al.

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Short summary
Following the 2020 Australian fires, it was recently discovered that stratospheric wildfire-smoke plumes self-organize as anticyclonic vortices that persist for months and rise by 10 km due to the radiative heating by the absorbing smoke. In this study, we show that smoke-charged vortices had previously occurred in the aftermath of the 2017 Canadian fires. We use meteorological analysis to characterize this new object in geophysical fluid dynamics, which likely impacts radiation and climate.
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