loading page

Multiscale CO budget estimates across South America: quantifying local sources and long range transport
  • +6
  • Pablo Lichtig,
  • Benjamin Gaubert,
  • Louisa K. Emmons,
  • Duseong S. Jo,
  • Patrick Callaghan,
  • Sergio Ibarra-Espinosa,
  • Laura Dawidowski,
  • Guy P. Brasseur,
  • Gabriele G. Pfister
Pablo Lichtig
National Comission of Atomic Energy
Author Profile
Benjamin Gaubert
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Author Profile
Louisa K. Emmons
National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
Author Profile
Duseong S. Jo
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Author Profile
Patrick Callaghan
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Author Profile
Sergio Ibarra-Espinosa
Global Monitoring Laboratory (NOAA) and CIRES (Colorado University)
Author Profile
Laura Dawidowski
Author Profile
Guy P. Brasseur
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Gabriele G. Pfister
National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
Author Profile


South America is a large continent situated mostly in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) with complex topography and diverse emissions sources. However, the atmospheric chemistry of this region has been historically understudied. Here, we employ the Multi-Scale Infrastructure for Chemistry and Aerosols, a novel global circulation model with regional refinement capabilities and full chemistry, to explore the sources and distribution of the carbon monoxide (CO) tropospheric column in South America during 2019, and also to assess the effect that South American primary emissions have over the rest of the world. Most of the CO over South America can be explained either by NMVOC secondary chemical production or by biomass burning emissions, with biomass burning as the main explanation for the variability in CO. Biomass burning in Central Africa is a relevant contributor to CO in all of the continent, including the southern tip. Biogenic emissions play a dual role in CO concentrations: they provide volatile organic compounds that contribute to the secondary CO production, but they also destroy OH, which limits the chemical production and destruction of CO. As a net effect, the lifetime of CO is extended to ~120 days on average over the Amazon, while still being in the range of 30-60 days in the rest of South America.
08 Jan 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
13 Jan 2024Published in ESS Open Archive