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In-situ observations of mid-latitude forest fire plumes deep in the stratosphere

Jost, H., K. Drdla, A. Stohl, L. Pfister, M. Loewenstein, J. P. Lopez, P. K. Hudson, D. Murphy, D. Cziczo, M. Fromm, T. P. Bui, J. Dean-Day, C. Gerbig, M. J. Mahoney, E. Richard, N. Spichtinger, J. V. Pittman, E. Weinstock, J. Wilson, and I. Xueref (2004), In-situ observations of mid-latitude forest fire plumes deep in the stratosphere, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L11101, doi:10.1029/2003GL019253.

We observed a plume of air highly enriched in carbon monoxide and particles in the stratosphere at altitudes up to 15.8 km. It can be unambiguously attributed to North American forest fires. This plume demonstrates an extratropical direct transport path from the planetary boundary layer several kilometers deep into the stratosphere, which is not fully captured by large-scale atmospheric transport models. This process indicates that the stratospheric ozone layer could be sensitive to changes in forest burning associated with climatic warming.

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Research Program: 
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)
Upper Atmosphere Research Program (UARP)