First space-based observations of formic acid (HCOOH): Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment austral spring 2004 and 2005 Southern Hemisphere tropical-mid-latitude upper tropospheric measurements

Curtis P. Rinsland, Chris D. Boone, Peter F. Bernath, Emmanuel Mahieu, Rodolphe Zander, Gaelle Dufour, Cathy Clerbaux, Solene Turquety, Linda Chiou, John C. McConnell, Lori Neary, Jacek W. Kaminski

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The first space-based measurements of upper tropospheric ( 110 - 300 hPa) formic acid (HCOOH) are reported from 0.02 cm(-1) resolution Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) Fourier transform spectrometer solar occultation measurements at 16 degrees S - 43 degrees S latitude during late September to early October in 2004 and 2005. A maximum upper tropospheric HCOOH mixing ratio of 3.13 +/- 0.02 ppbv ( 1 ppbv = 10(-9) per unit volume), 1 sigma, at 10.5 km altitude was measured during 2004 at 29.97 degrees S latitude and a lower maximum HCOOH mixing ratio of 2.03 +/- 0.28 ppbv, at 9.5 km altitude was measured during 2005. Fire counts, back trajectories, and correlations of HCOOH mixing ratios with ACE simultaneous measurements of other fire products confirm the elevated HCOOH mixing ratios originated primarily from tropical fire emissions. A HCOOH emission factor relative to CO of 1.99 +/- 1.34 g kg(-1) during 2004 in upper tropospheric plumes is inferred from a comparison with lower mixing ratios measured during the same time period assuming HITRAN 2004 spectroscopic parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages6
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2006



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