The Impact of Biomass Burning on Air Quality and Climate over Northern Sub-Saharan Africa (NSSA)

Friday, 19 December 2014
Richard Damoah1, Luke Ellison1, Charles M Ichoku2 and Jimmy O Adegoke3, (1)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (2)NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (3)University of Missouri Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, United States
Biomass burning is one of the major sources of troposheric ozone (O3) precursors such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxides (CO), and non-methane volatile organics compounds (NMVOCs) as well as primary aerosols such as organic carbon (OC) and black carbon (BC). These emissions do not only affect air quality and climate locally, but also on continental to hemispheric scales through long-range transport. It is estimated that about 350 Million hectares of land burn globally every year of which 54 % are in Africa. The northern sub-Saharan African (NSSA) region (0 – 20N, 20W – 55E) is known to show one of the highest biomass burning rates (in terms of per unit land area) among all regions of the world. This is due to the high concentration and frequency of fires in this region. In this presentation, we discuss results obtained from NASA’s Global Modeling Initiative Chemistry and Transport Model (GMI-CTM), driven by specified meteorological fields accounting for both transport and photochemical contributions, and an off-line Radiative Transfer Model (RTM) that calculates the radiative fluxes across the tropopause, to quantify the impact on air quality and climate triggered by biomass burning over the NSSA region.