Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-503
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-503
19 Mar 2024
 | 19 Mar 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Satellite-observed relationships between land cover, burned area and atmospheric composition over the southern Amazon

Emma Sands, Richard Pope, Ruth M. Doherty, Fiona M. O'Connor, Chris Wilson, and Hugh Pumphrey

Abstract. Land surface changes can have substantial impacts on the interactions between the biosphere and atmosphere. In South America, rainforests abundantly emit biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), which coupled with pyrogenic emissions from deforestation fires, can have substantial impacts on regional air quality. We use novel and long-term satellite records of trace gases, aerosol optical depth (AOD), vegetation and burned area to characterise the impacts of biogenic and pyrogenic emissions on atmospheric composition for the period 2001 to 2019 in the southern Amazon, a region of substantial deforestation. We find that the seasonal cycle for all of the atmospheric constituents peaks in the dry season (August–October) and that year-to-year variability in carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde (HCHO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and AOD is strongly linked to burned area. We find a robust relationship between broadleaf forest cover and total column isoprene (R2 = 0.59), while burned area exhibits an approximate 5th root power law relationship with tropospheric column NO2 (R2 = 0.32), both in the dry season. Vegetation and burned area together show a relationship with HCHO (R2 = 0.23). Overall, we provide a detailed observational quantification of biospheric process influences on southern Amazon regional atmospheric composition, which in future studies can be used to help constrain the underpinning processes in Earth System Models.

Emma Sands, Richard Pope, Ruth M. Doherty, Fiona M. O'Connor, Chris Wilson, and Hugh Pumphrey

Status: open (until 06 May 2024)

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Emma Sands, Richard Pope, Ruth M. Doherty, Fiona M. O'Connor, Chris Wilson, and Hugh Pumphrey
Emma Sands, Richard Pope, Ruth M. Doherty, Fiona M. O'Connor, Chris Wilson, and Hugh Pumphrey

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Short summary
Changes in vegetation alongside biomass burning impact regional atmospheric composition and air quality. Using satellite remote sensing, we find a clear linear relationship between forest cover and isoprene and a pronounced non-linear relationship between burned area and nitrogen dioxide in the southern Amazon, a region of substantial deforestation. These quantified relationships can be used for model evaluation and further exploration of biosphere-atmosphere interactions in Earth System Models.