Characterization of aerosol particles during a high pollution episode over Mexico City
18 de noviembre de 2021
Scientific Reports | Nature
Autores: Giovanni Carabali, José Villanueva-Macias, Luis A. Ladino, Harry Álvarez-Ospina, Graciela B. Raga, Gema Andraca-Ayala, Javier Miranda, Michel Grutter, Ma. Montserrat Silva* & David Riveros-Rosas
* Instituto de Ciencias de la Atmósfera y Cambio Climático |
ore than 7 thousand wildfires were recorded over Mexico in 2019, affecting almost 640 thousand hectares. Most of these fires occurred during the spring season generating dense smoke plumes, impacting urban areas in the central part of the Mexican plateau. From May 10 to 17, 2019, biomass burning (BB) plumes affected Mexico City (MC) and diffused across the basin, producing PM2.5 levels ~ 2 times higher than the nation’s air quality standards. Average PM2.5 concentrations increased sharply from 29.4 ± 7.2 µg m−3 to 65.1 ± 13.6 µg m−3 when the dense smoke plumes were detected. The higher particle concentration impacted the aerosol optical depth (AOD) as values ~ 3 times greater than the annual mean (0.32 ± 0.12) were measured, which resulted in a 17% loss of global horizontal irradiation (GHI). Under these severe pollution conditions, the visibility (Va) was reduced by ~ 80%. The high incidence of strong absorbent particles, such as soot and tarballs was revealed through electron microscopy and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis. These techniques show chemical similarities between MC aerosols and those from the high-altitude (~ 4010 m. a. g. l.) Altzomoni Atmospheric Observatory, evidencing a strong influence of the BB emissions, suggesting a regional transport of these pollutants.