Fires in Latin America and Carbon Monoxide

Author: Joseph Ardizzonne

The Amazon is both an ecological and economic region of importance to its inhabitants and the world community. For this reason, the recent increase in fires in the Amazon has sparked worldwide attention. The Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) model can be used to monitor the effects of the fires using a state-of-the-art chemistry package (GEOS-Chem) coupled with full 3D atmospheric data assimilation and modeling. The included animation shows the evolution and transport of carbon monoxide (CO) using the GEOS model. CO is one byproduct of biomass burning. The location of the fires can be observed as periodic pulses in the CO concentration.

GEOS uses in-situ and satellite observed data to determine the location and magnitude of point source emissions. The data is assimilated and transported in the three-dimensional atmosphere using both chemical and dynamical processes to model the time evolution of incipient and derived constituents. GEOS models both trace gas and particulate matter. Dust, black carbon, organic carbon and sea salt are examples of particulate matter modeled by GEOS. The origin of each constituent is uniquely tagged by region. The data used in the animation originated over Latin America. Other source regions (such as Africa or North America) can also be monitored to assess the origin, transport and impact on other areas of the world.

Full Resolution MP4 animation:

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