Geophysical Research Letters

Tropospheric ozone enhancements during the Indonesian Forest Fire Events in 1994 and in 1997 as revealed by ground-based observations



Pronounced enhancements of total and tropospheric ozone were observed with the Brewer spectrophotometer and ozonesondes at Watukosek (7.5°S, 112.6°E), Indonesia in 1994 and in 1997 when extensive forest fires were reported in Indonesia. The integrated tropospheric ozone increased from 20 DU to 40 DU in October 1994 and to 55 DU in October 1997. On October 13, 1994, most ozone mixing ratios were more than 50 ppbv throughout the troposphere and exceeded 80 ppbv at some altitudes. On October 22, 1997, the concentrations were more than 50 ppbv throughout the troposphere and exceeded 100 ppbv at several altitudes. The coincidences of the ozone enhancements with the forest fires suggest the photochemical production of tropospheric ozone due to its precursors emitted from the fires for both cases. The years of 1994 and 1997 correspond to El Niño events when convective activity becomes low in Indonesia. Thus, in this region, it is likely that pronounced enhancements of tropospheric ozone associated with extensive forest fires due to sparse precipitation may take place with a period of a few years coinciding with El Niño events. This is in a marked contrast to the situation in South America and Africa where large-scale biomass burnings occur every year.