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Impact of biomass burning on a metropolitan area in the Amazon during the 2015 El Nin~o: The enhancement of carbon monoxide and levoglucosan concentrations.

Extreme droughts associated with changes in the climate have occurred every 5 years in the Amazon during the 21st century, with the most severe being in 2015. The increase in biomass burning (BB) events that occurred during the 2015 drought had several negative socioeconomic and environmental impacts, one of which was a decrease in the air quality. This study is an investigation into the air quality in the Manaus Metropolitan Region (MMR) (central Amazon, Brazil) during the dry (September to October) and wet (April to May) seasons of 2015 and 2016. A strong El Nin~o event began during the wet season of 2015 and ended during the wet season of 2016. Particulate matter samples were collected in the MMR during 2015 and 2016, and analyses of the satellite-estimated total carbon monoxide (CO) column and observed levoglucosan concentrations were carried out. Levoglucosan has been shown to be significantly corre- lated with regional fires and is a well-established chemical tracer for the atmospheric particulates emitted by BB, and CO can be treated as a gaseous-phase tracer for BB. The number of BB events increased significantly during the El Nin~o period when compared to the average number during 2003 e2016. Consequently, the total CO column and levoglucosan concentration values in the MMR increased by 15% and 500%, respectively, when compared to the normal conditions. These results indicate that during the period that was analyzed, the impacts of BB were exacerbated during the strong El Nin~o event as compared to the non-El Nin~o period. In this study, we provided evidence that the air quality in the MMR will degrade in the future if droughts and BB occurrences continue to increase.


Igor O. Ribeiro, Erickson O. do Santos, Carla E. Batista, Karenn S. Fernandes, Jianhuai Ye, Adan S. Medeiros, Rafael L. e Oliveira, Suzane S. de Sa, Thaiane R. de Sousa, Mary T. Kayano, Rita V. Andreoli, Cristine de M.D. Machado, Jason D. Surratt, Sergio D. Junior, Scot T. Martin, Rodrigo A.F. de Souza


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