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Campaign Forecasts

last modified 2011-03-29 02:12

FLEXPART Tracers for CO, NOx, SO4, and Biomass Burning during VAUUAV / CICCI


This page provides information and instructions for special FLEXPART forecasts produced for the CICCI, PANARCMIP, and VAUUAV campaigns. We have set up the FLEXPART forecast system to provide information on anthropogenic releases of CO, NOx, SO4, BC and biomass burning.

Please report any questions or problems to:  John Burkhart

The products for the CICCI, PANARCMIP, and VAUUAV campaigns are produced using FLEXPART v8.2 with the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global Forecast System (GFS) meteorological model windfields. The windfields are available four times daily at 0.5 ° resolution in both latitude and longitude. Output for the model is generated on a global lat/lon grid also at 0.5 ° resolution.

Tracer masses are carried by particles following trajectories calculated using the GFS winds and stochastic components for turbulence and convection. Tracer forecasts are run separately for anthropogenic emissions from Asia, Europe and North America. For each of these forecasts, four tracers are available: carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides (expressed as NO2), and sulfur dioxide (including direct emissions of sulfate), and black carbon (BC). These species are for a duration of 20 days, after which tracer particles are dropped from the simulation. In addition, a biomass burning CO and BC tracer is available; the emission algorithm ingests actual information on MODIS fire detections, landuse information, and emission factors.

As the emission basis, the EDGAR version 3.2 fast track inventory for the year 2000 with a resolution of 1 degree is used, excecpt for most of North America where the inventory of Frost and McKeen (2004) is used. This inventory is based on the U.S. EPA NEI-99 inventory (National Emissions Inventory, base year 1999, version 3) and has an original resolution of 4 km, plus point sources. For initializing FLEXPART, the high resolution has been kept for high-emission grid cells and strong point sources. Weaker sources were aggregated to coarser resolution.

FLEXPART Forecast Products

The links in the table provide access to the statically produced forecast products. These are generated every 6 hours (0,6,12,18 UTC) and provide snapshots of the tracer transport globally. The products for the campaign are focused on monitoring Arctic regions. Output is provided in both total column (conccol) and elevation slices (conc), at present only Total Column plots are available. See this link for more information.

Region \ Tracer





Total Anthropogenic


North American


Biomass Burning

Concentration plots for FLEXPART tracers are available. Wet and dry deposition removal processes are included. The source terms have NOT been validated. Click the icon to play load a browser with the 120 hour forecast images. There are three regions available to select from. For more plotting control and closer inspection of forecasts output, we recommend to use this interactive tool for plotting FLEXPART. 

Interactive Plotting

Using the interactive plotting tool you can create custom plots of the forecast data. The tool provides the ability to create custom horizontal and vertical cross section plots, as well as animated movies of the transport. NOTE: please read the guidelines before using the tool in order to understand the various settings. More information can be found here:
display custom results of the forecast system using the Interactive Tool

AN-CO Loop
AN-BC Loop
BB-CO Loop

DISCLAIMER: Note, these products are EXPERIMENTAL and should not be used for general aviation guidance. NILU, nor those generating the products, accept no repsponsibility for actions based on usage of this tool. We are interested in scientific research collaboration, and welcome feedback.

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