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The Uncharacteristic Occurrence of the June 2013 Biomass-Burning Haze Event in Southeast Asia: Effects of the Madden-Julian Oscillation and Tropical Cyclone Activity

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Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
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Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Semenyih, Selangor 43500, Malaysia
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Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
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Marine Meteorology Division, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, CA 93943, USA
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Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119076, Singapore
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Cloud and Aerosol Lab, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Central University, Chung-Li 32001, Taiwan
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School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Semenyih, Selangor 43500, Malaysia
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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ashesi University, Cantonments, Accra PMB CT3, Ghana
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Center of Excellence for Sustainable Innovation and Research Initiative (CESIRI), Port Harcourt 511101, Nigeria
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11010055
Received: 15 November 2019 / Revised: 12 December 2019 / Accepted: 13 December 2019 / Published: 1 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Burning Emissions Modeling and Simulation)
One of the worst haze events to ever hit Peninsular Malaysia occurred in June 2013 due to smoke from Riau, Central Sumatra. While biomass-burning in the region is common, the early occurrence of a haze episode of this magnitude was uncharacteristic of the seasonality of extreme fire events, which usually occur between August and October in the Maritime Continent (MC). This study aims to investigate the phenomenology of the June 2013 haze event and its underlying meteorological forcing agents. The aerosol and meteorological environment during the event is examined using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) active fire hotspot detections and aerosol optical thickness retrievals, satellite-based precipitation retrievals, and meteorological indices. These datasets are then supported by a WRF-Chem simulation to provide a comprehensive picture of the event’s meteorology and aerosol transport phenomenology. While extreme fire events are more characteristic of El Nino years, the MODIS fire count over the MC in June for the years 2001–2015 was highest in 2013 when neutral El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions prevailed. Although, the mean daily precipitation for June 2013 was below average for June 2003–2015. An early active tropical cyclone (TC) season occurred in 2013, and results show that the combined induced subsidence and flow enhancement due to TC Bebinca and the dry phases of a strong Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) event contributed to the event intensification. Results also show that Bebinca induced a decrease in surface relative humidity of at least 10% over Riau, where fire hotspots were concentrated. View Full-Text
Keywords: WRF-Chem; biomass burning haze; Maritime Continent; tropical cyclone; MJO; ENSO WRF-Chem; biomass burning haze; Maritime Continent; tropical cyclone; MJO; ENSO
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Oozeer, Y.; Chan, A.; Wang, J.; Reid, J.S.; Salinas, S.V.; Ooi, M.C.G.; Morris, K.I. The Uncharacteristic Occurrence of the June 2013 Biomass-Burning Haze Event in Southeast Asia: Effects of the Madden-Julian Oscillation and Tropical Cyclone Activity. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 55.

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