Smoke days estimation using CAMS global reanalysis (EAC4)

Hi all,

I was intrigued by a Twitter post by Dr. Parrington about the increased fires and smoke pollution in Mexico & Central America over the last 2-3 weeks, as revealed in the #CopernicusAtmosphere organic matter aerosol optical depth analyses from 1 May-9 June (URL_1) by @CopernicusECMWF. I’m particularly interested in the “Organic matter aerosol optical depth at 550 nm” displayed in the map excerpt.

As I’m currently studying Brazilian air pollution, I’m curious if this data variable can be used to estimate the “number of smoke days in a county,” similar to the smoke mapping by NOAA (URL_3).

I realize that the data may not be directly comparable, but I’m wondering if a positive value above some threshold for Organic matter aerosol optical depth at 550 nm in a county in the Brazilian Amazon would suggest the presence of smoke, in addition to the air pollution i.e. Particulate matter d < 2.5 µm (PM2.5).

I would greatly appreciate your guidance on this matter.

Thank you,

Hi Nilesh,

I typically use organic matter aerosol optical depth as an indicator for smoke from wildfires/vegetation fires and tracking the smoke transport. While there are some other emissions of organic matter aerosols, the values are much higher when there are fires. For an appropriate threshold value you could calculate “number of smoke days” for a given region/administrative boundary and it would also be helpful to compare this with PM2.5, or other pollutants, which will also be increased when there are fire emissions. There is also the mass mixing ratio of organic matter aerosol which provides the 3-D distribution.

I hope this helps but if you have any further questions please let me know.