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APIFLAME v2.0 biomass burning emissions model: impact of refined input parameters on atmospheric concentration in Portugal in summer 2016

Abstract : Biomass burning emissions are a major source of trace gases and aerosols. Wildfires being highly variable in time and space, calculating emissions requires a numerical tool able to estimate fluxes at the kilometer scale and with an hourly time step. Here, the APIFLAME model version 2.0 is presented. It is structured to be modular in terms of input databases and processing methods. The main evolution compared to version 1.0 is the possibility of merging burned area and fire radiative power (FRP) satellite observations to modulate the temporal variations of fire emissions and to integrate small fires that may not be detected in the burned area product. Accounting for possible missed detection due to small fire results in an increase in burned area ranging from ∼5 % in Africa and Australia to ∼30 % in North America on average over the 2013–2017 time period based on the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Collection 6 fire products. An illustration for the case of southwestern Europe during the summer of 2016, marked by large wildfires in Portugal, is presented. Emissions calculated using different possible configurations of APIFLAME show a dispersion of 80 % on average over the domain during the largest wildfires (8–14 August 2016), which can be considered as an estimate of uncertainty of emissions. The main sources of uncertainty studied, by order of importance, are the emission factors, the calculation of the burned area, and the vegetation attribution. The aerosol (PM10) and carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations simulated with the CHIMERE regional chemistry transport model (CTM) are consistent with observations (good timing for the beginning and end of the events, ±1 d for the timing of the peak values) but tend to be overestimated compared to observations at surface stations. On the contrary, vertically integrated concentrations tend to be underestimated compared to satellite observations of total column CO by the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) instrument and aerosol optical depth (AOD) by MODIS. This underestimate is lower close to the fire region (5 %–40 % for AOD depending on the configuration and 8 %–18 % for total CO) but rapidly increases downwind. For all comparisons, better agreement is achieved when emissions are injected higher into the free troposphere using a vertical profile as estimated from observations of aerosol plume height by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) satellite instrument (injection up to 4 km). Comparisons of aerosol layer heights to observations by the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) show that some parts of the plume may still be transported at too low an altitude. The comparisons of the different CTM simulations to observations point to uncertainties not only on emissions (total mass and daily variability) but also on the simulation of their transport with the CTM and mixing with other sources. Considering the uncertainty of the emission injection profile and of the modeling of the transport of these dense plumes, it is difficult to fully validate emissions through comparisons between model simulations and atmospheric observations.
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Solène Turquety, Laurent Menut, Guillaume Siour, Sylvain Maille, Juliette Hadji-Lazaro, et al.. APIFLAME v2.0 biomass burning emissions model: impact of refined input parameters on atmospheric concentration in Portugal in summer 2016. Geoscientific Model Development, European Geosciences Union, 2020, 13, pp.2981-3009. ⟨10.5194/gmd-13-2981-2020⟩. ⟨insu-02441515⟩

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