01 Apr 2022
01 Apr 2022

Dynamical Perturbation of the Stratosphere by a Pyrocumulonimbus Injection of Carbonaceous Aerosols

Giorgio Doglioni1,2, Valentina Aquila3, Sampa Das4,5, Peter R. Colarco5, and Dino Zardi1,2 Giorgio Doglioni et al.
  • 1University of Trento, Center Agriculture, Food, Environment
  • 2University of Trento, Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering
  • 3American University, Washington DC, USA
  • 4Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), University of Maryland, MD, USA
  • 5NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Abstract. The Pacific Northwest pyrocumulonimbus Event (PNE) took place in British Columbia during the nighttime hours between the 12th and 13th of August 2017. Several pyroconvective clouds erupted in this occasion, and released in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere unprecedented amounts of carbonaceous aerosols (300 ktn). Only a few years later, an even larger pyroCb injection took place over Australia. This event, named the Australian New Year (ANY) event, injected up to 1100 ktn of aerosol between December 29th 2019 and January 4th 2020. Such large injections of carbonaceous aerosol modify the stratospheric radiative budgets, locally perturbing stratospheric temperatures and winds. In this study, we use the Goddard Earth Observing System Chemistry Climate Model (GEOS CCM) to study the pertubations on the stratospheric meteorology induced by an aerosol injection of the magnitude of the PNE. Our simulations include the radiative interactions of aerosols, so that their impact on temperatures and winds are explicitly simulated. We show how the presence of the carbonaceous aerosols from the pyroCb causes the formation and maintenance of a synoptic scale stratospheric anticyclone. We follow this disturbance considering the potential vorticity anomaly and the brown carbon aerosol loading and we describe its dynamical and thermodynamical structure and its evolution in time. The analysis presented here shows that the simulated anticyclone undergoes daily expansion-compression cycles governed by the radiative heating, which are directly related to the vertical motion of the plume, and that the aerosol radiative heating is essential in maintaining the anticyclone itself.

Giorgio Doglioni et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-80', Anonymous Referee #1, 27 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-80', Anonymous Referee #2, 03 May 2022

Giorgio Doglioni et al.

Data sets

GEOS CCM free-running simulation data of the Pacific-Northwest pyrocumulonimbus Event-like aerosol injection, SWIRL selection Giorgio Doglioni

Giorgio Doglioni et al.


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Short summary
We use a chemistry climate model to analyze the perturbations to the stratospheric dynamics caused by an injection of carbonaceous aerosol comparable to the ones caused by a series of pyrocumulonimbi that formed over British Columbia, Canada on August 13, 2017. The injection of light-absorbing aerosol in an otherwise clean lower stratosphere cause the formation of long-lasting stratospheric anticyclones at the synoptic scale.