Monitoring atmospheric composition & climate
MACC Products Related to Russian Fires

MACC makes daily estimates of the emission of aerosols from fires detected by satellite measurements of thermal radiation. It also assimilates satellite measurements of the optical depth of aerosols. The animation shows the aerosol optical depth due to black carbon and organic matter from successive 24-hour forecasts covering the period from 26 July to 11 August 2010. Smoke from the fires over western Russia tends to be advected eastward, but anticyclonic circulation and transport over the Baltic and Nordic countries can also be seen.


The animation exhibits a jump once a day in the amount of aerosol covering the region of the major fires over western Russia. This comes from the satellite observations used to identify fires and from the observations of aerosol optical depth that are assimilated before starting each 24h forecast. These observations correct for the forecast model’s underestimation of the persistence of the fires.

Ground-based observations from the Finnish AERONET station at Hyytiälä show high values on 7 and 8 August, arriving a little earlier than indicated by the MACC forecasts.

The data on fires come from the SEVIRI instrument on EUMETSAT’s Meteosat-9 platform and from the MODIS instruments on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. The aerosol optical depth data also come from the MODIS instruments. General information on MACC’s global fire monitoring system can be found here.

Daily aerosol forecasts

Organic matter, black carbon and sulphate aerosols are emitted mostly from anthropogenic sources in addition to wildfires. They are designated "anthropogenic aerosols" in plots provided routinely on the MACC website. The latest forecast of their optical depth can be found here.

Daily forecasts of carbon monoxide and other trace gases

Forecasts of a carbon-monoxide-like tracer that is solely due to the emissions by the latest observed fires are produced routinely. The latest forecast is available here.

MACC also provides daily global analyses and forecasts of carbon monoxide and other chemically reactive gases. At this stage of the development of the MACC system, sources of these gases from the daily analysis of fire activity have yet to be implemented. A strong signal of the Russian fires is seen in the distribution of carbon monoxide from the MOPITT instrument carried on the Terra satellite. MACC already assimilates MOPITT data provided in delayed mode in its reanalysis. Trials of the daily assimilation of data provided in near-real-time are showing promising results, as illustrated by the maps presented below, but the data have yet to be fully assessed for inclusion in the routine production system. MACC also has a capability for assimilation of information on carbon monoxide from the IASI instrument on EUMETSAT’s Metop satellite, but a technical change in data production has prevented these data from being assimilated for the period of the Russian fires. MACC’s routine reactive-gas products thus significantly underestimate effects of the current fires over Russia.



The top panel shows MOPITT total-column CO data (units: 10^18 molec/cm^2) averaged from 1-9 August 2010. Large values can be seen over much of western Russia. The middle panel shows the equivalent map from the MACC near-real-time analysis, sampled to reproduce the MOPITT data coverage. The bottom panel shows corresponding values from a trial analysis that assimilated the MOPITT data. These values are larger by up to 0.6x10^18 molec/cm^2 over the region affected by the Russian fires.


Daily Reports on the Russian fire situation

Daily compilations of reports on major fire events worldwide, including Russia, are available from the UN-ISDR Global Fire Monitoring Centre located in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.