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Improving estimates of the atmospheric oxidative capacity and Amazon fire emissions
Group: Wageningen University, Meteorology and Air Quality
Promotor: prof. dr MC Krol, prof. dr W Peters
Copromotor: dr SA Montzka
Many important pollutants are removed from the atmosphere through oxidation, mainly by the hydroxyl radical (OH). Multi-annual trends and interannual variability of OH on a global scale remain poorly understood, which inhibits estimation of pollutant emissions. We have used the trace gas methyl chloroform (MCF) to indirectly put constraints on OH, first in a simple two-box model and later in a 3D atmospheric transport model. The outcome is a critical assessment of our ability to constrain OH following these methods, as well as a best estimate of OH variability and trends. Additionally, we have employed the same atmospheric transport model to constrain CO emissions from biomass burning in the Amazon. While Amazonian fires are interesting to understand for their own sake, the CO emitted in the fires can also be an important driver of large-scale fluctuations in OH.
By September we will present an overview of SENSE dissertations on this page, with links to the full texts of the dissertations.