Publication Details

Velazco, V., Notholt, J., Warneke, T., Lawrence, M., Bremer, H., Drummond, J., Schulz, A., Krieg, J. & Schrems, O. (2005). Latitude and altitude variability of carbon monoxide in the Atlantic detected from ship-borne Fourier transform spectrometry, model, and satellite data. Journal of Geophysical Research D: Atmospheres, 110 (9), D09306-1-D09306-12.


Carbon monoxide (CO) volume mixing ratio (VMR) profiles have been retrieved from ship-borne solar absorption spectra recorded in the Atlantic between 80°N and 70°S. CO profiles can be retrieved up to 30 km with a maximum altitude resolution of 4 km for a few layers. CO enhancements due to biomass burning have been detected. Recurring enhancements of CO were detected in the upper troposphere (10–15 km) in the equatorial regions and in the southern Atlantic (20°S–30°S). These enhancements could be traced back to African biomass burning sources as well as sources as far as South America. Similar results are observed in CO measurements from space by the Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) instrument. However, some enhancements in the upper troposphere especially above the source regions are difficult to distinguish from the MOPITT data. Results from the Model of Atmospheric Transport and Chemistry from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (MATCH-MPIC) show good agreement with the FTIR results. An analysis of the model data allows the quantification of the contributions of different sources such as biomass burning, fossil fuel combustion, and oxidation of methane (CH4) and nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHC).



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