Importance of transboundary transport of biomass burning emissions to regional air quality in Southeast Asia during a high fire event

B. Aouizerats, G.R. van der Werf, R. Balasubramanian, R. Betha

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Smoke from biomass and peat burning has a notable impact on ambient air quality and climate in the Southeast Asia (SEA) region. We modeled a large fire-induced haze episode in 2006 stemming mostly from Indonesia using the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with chemistry (WRF-Chem). We focused on the evolution of the fire plume composition and its interaction with the urbanized area of the city state of Singapore, and on comparisons of modeled and measured aerosol and carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations. Two simulations were run with WRF-Chem using the complex volatility basis set (VBS) scheme to reproduce primary and secondary aerosol evolution and concentration. The first simulation referred to as WRF-FIRE included anthropogenic, biogenic and biomass burning emissions from the Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED3) while the second simulation referred to as WRF-NOFIRE was run without emissions from biomass burning. To test model performance, we used three independent data sets for comparison including airborne measurements of particulate matter (PM) with a diameter of 10 μm or less (PM10) in Singapore, CO measurements in Sumatra, and aerosol optical depth (AOD) column observations from four satellite-based sensors. We found reasonable agreement between the model runs and both ground-based measurements of CO and PM10. The comparison with AOD was less favorable and indicated the model underestimated AOD, although the degree of mismatch varied between different satellite data sets. During our study period, forest and peat fires in Sumatra were the main cause of enhanced aerosol concentrations from regional transport over Singapore. Analysis of the biomass burning plume showed high concentrations of primary organic aerosols (POA) with values up to 600 μg m
Original languageEnglish
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Importance of transboundary transport of biomass burning emissions to regional air quality in Southeast Asia during a high fire event'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this