Continental-Scale Partitioning of Fire Emissions during the 1997 to 2001 El Niño/La Niña Period

Guido R. Van Der Werf, James T. Randerson, G. James Collatz, Louis Giglio, Prasad S. Kasibhatla, Avelino F. Arellano, Seth C. Olsen, Eric S. Kasischke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

447 Scopus citations

Abstract

During the 1997 to 1998 El Niño, drought conditions triggered widespread increases in fire activity, releasing CH4 and CO 2 to the atmosphere. We evaluated the contribution of fires from different continents to variability in these greenhouse gases from 1997 to 2001, using satellite-based estimates of fire activity, biogeochemical modeling, and an inverse analysis of atmospheric CO anomalies. During the 1997 to 1998 El Niño, the fire emissions anomaly was 2.1 ± 0.8 petagrams of carbon, or 66 ± 24% of the CO2 growth rate anomaly. The main contributors were Southeast Asia (60%), Central and South America (30%), and boreal regions of Eurasia and North America (10%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-76
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume303
Issue number5654
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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