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Spaceborne lidars are the best tool to monitor long-range-transported smoke

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In May–June 2019, smoke plumes from wildfires in Canada were advected all the way (across North America and the North Atlantic) to Europe. Scientists from the Finnish Meteorological Institute analyzed the aerosol mass concentrations over North America and Europe, and found that less than one-tenth of the emitted mass survived the transport over the Atlantic Ocean. Observations of smoke particles from a spaceborne lidar and ground-based lidars were in good agreement, independently from the distance to the source. We found that the reanalysis models had difficulties in reproducing the amount and location of the smoke aerosols during the transport event. Consequently, more spaceborne lidar missions are needed for reliable monitoring of aerosol plumes. 

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