Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-117
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-117

  17 Feb 2021

17 Feb 2021

Siberian fire smoke in the High-Arctic winter stratosphere observed during MOSAiC 2019–2020

Kevin Ohneiser1, Albert Ansmann1, Ronny Engelmann1, Christoph Ritter2, Alexandra Chudnovsky3, Igor Veselovskii4, Holger Baars1, Henriette Gebauer1, Hannes Griesche1, Martin Radenz1, Julian Hofer1, Dietrich Althausen1, Sandro Dahlke2, and Marion Maturilli2 Kevin Ohneiser et al.
  • 1Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany
  • 3Tel Aviv University, Porter School of Earth Sciences and Environment, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 4Prokhorov General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Abstract. During the one-year MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) expedition the German icebreaker Polarstern drifted through the Arctic Ocean ice from October 2019 to May 2020, mainly at latitudes between 85° N and 88.5° N. A multiwavelength polarization Raman lidar was operated aboard the research vessel and continuously monitored aerosol and cloud layers up to 30 km height. The highlight of the lidar measurements was the detection of a persistent, 10 km deep wildfire smoke layer in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) from about 7–8 km to 17–18 km height. The smoke layer was present throughout the winter half year until the polar vortex, the strongest of the last 40 years, collapsed in late April 2020. The smoke originated from major fire events, especially from extraordinarily intense and long-lasting Siberian fires in July and August 2019. In this article, we summarize the main findings of our seven-month smoke observations and characterize the aerosol properties and decay of the stratospheric perturbation in terms of geometrical, optical, and microphysical properties. The UTLS aerosol optical thickness (AOT) at 532 nm ranged from 0.05–0.12 in October–November 2019 and was of the order of 0.03–0.06 during the central winter months (December–February). As an unambiguous sign of the dominance of smoke, the particle extinction-to-backscatter ratio (lidar ratio) at 355 nm was found to be much lower than the respective 532 nm lidar ratio. Mean values were 55 sr (355 nm) and 85 sr (532 nm). We further present a review of previous height resolved Arctic aerosol observations (remote sensing) in our study. For the first time, a coherent and representative view on the aerosol layering features in the Central Arctic from the surface up to 27 km height during the winter half year is presented. Finally, a potential impact of the wildfire smoke aerosol on the record-breaking ozone depletion over the Arctic in the spring of 2020 is discussed based on smoke, ozone, and polar stratospheric cloud observations.

Kevin Ohneiser et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Review of manuscript acp-2021-117', Anonymous Referee #1, 14 Mar 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-117', Anonymous Referee #2, 16 Mar 2021
  • CC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-117', Michael Fromm, 13 Apr 2021

Kevin Ohneiser et al.

Kevin Ohneiser et al.

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Short summary
The highlight of the lidar measurements during the one-year MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) expedition of the German icebreaker Polarstern (October 2019–October 2020) was the detection of a persistent, 10 km deep Siberian wildfire smoke layer in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) from about 7–8 km to 17–18 km height that could potentially have impacted the record-breaking ozone depletion over the Arctic in the spring of 2020.
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