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Impact of preindustrial biomass-burning emissions on the oxidation pathways of tropospheric sulfur and nitrogen
 

Summary: Impact of preindustrial biomass-burning emissions on the
oxidation pathways of tropospheric sulfur and nitrogen
B. Alexander,1,2
J. Savarino,1,3
K. J. Kreutz,4
and M. H. Thiemens1
Received 3 October 2003; revised 3 March 2004; accepted 9 March 2004; published 17 April 2004.
[1] Ice core measurements (H2O2 and CH4/HCHO) and modeling studies indicate a
change in the oxidation capacity of the atmosphere since the onset of the Industrial
Revolution due to increases in fossil fuel burning emissions [e.g., Lelieveld et al., 2002;
Hauglustaine and Brasseur, 2001; Wang and Jacob, 1998; Staffelbach et al., 1991]. The
mass-independent fractionation (MIF) in the oxygen isotopes of sulfate and nitrate from a
Greenland ice core reveal that biomass-burning events in North America just prior to
the Industrial Revolution significantly impacted the oxidation pathways of sulfur and
nitrogen species deposited in Greenland ice. This finding highlights the importance of
biomass-burning emissions for atmospheric chemistry in preindustrial North America and
warrants the inclusion of this impact in modeling studies estimating changes in
atmospheric oxidant chemistry since the Industrial Revolution, particularly when using
paleo-oxidant data as a reference for model evaluation. INDEX TERMS: 0365 Atmospheric
Composition and Structure: Troposphere--composition and chemistry; 1040 Geochemistry: Isotopic

  

Source: Alexander, Becky - Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington at Seattle

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Geosciences