NCEO scientists use satellite data in conjunction with chemical-transport models to investigate trace gases from Amazonian fires.
Smoke from Amazonian (and indeed all) forest fires contains many types of trace gas in addition to particles, and some can be assess from Space. The Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) on Eumetsat’s MetOp satellites can identify the spectral signatures of carbon monoxide (CO) and methanol (CH3OH) for example. The figure shows extensive plumes of CO and CH3OH on 24th August 2019 from Amazon forest burning, as retrieved by the Infrared and Microwave Sounding (IMS) scheme developed by RAL’s Remote Sensing Group in NCEO and implemented in their pilot near-real time processing system on the Jasmin computer infrastructure.
Carbon monoxide from Amazon fires measured 24 Aug 2019
Methanol from Amazonian fires measured 24 Aug 2019
Tropospheric ozone produced downstream by chemical reactions involving volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides emitted by the fires can contribute to poor air quality. Elevated levels of tropospheric ozone, along with the greenhouse gas methane, are also being observed over this region by MetOp. Satellite data will be used in conjunction with chemical-transport models by NCEO scientists to investigate wider impacts of this year’s Amazon burning season in comparison to earlier years.