Interannual variability in global biomass burning emissions from 1997 to 2004

G. R. Van Der Werf, J. T. Randerson, L. Giglio, G. J. Collatz, P. S. Kasibhatla, Avelino F Arellano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Biomass burning represents an important source of atmospheric aerosols and greenhouse gases, yet little is known about its interannual variability or the underlying mechanisms regulating this variability at continental to global scales. Here we investigated fire emissions during the 8 year period from 1997 to 2004 using satellite data and the CASA biogeochemical model. Burned area from 2001-2004 was derived using newly available active fire and 500 m. burned area datasets from MODIS following the approach described by Giglio et al. (2006). ATSR and VIRS satellite data were used to extend the burned area time series back in time through 1997. In our analysis we estimated fuel loads, including organic soil layer and peatland fuels, and the net flux from terrestrial ecosystems as the balance between net primary production (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh), and biomass burning, using time varying inputs of precipitation (PPT), temperature, solar radiation, and satellite-derived fractional absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fAPAR). For the 1997-2004 period, we found that on average approximately 58 Pg C year -1 was fixed by plants as NPP, and approximately 95% of this was returned back to the atmosphere via Rh. Another 4%, or 2.5 Pg C year-1 was emitted by biomass burning; the remainder consisted of losses from fuel wood collection and subsequent burning. At a global scale, burned area and total fire emissions were largely decoupled from year to year. Total carbon emissions tracked burning in forested areas (including deforestation fires in the tropics), whereas burned area was largely controlled by savanna fires that responded to different environmental and human factors. Biomass burning emissions showed large interannual variability with a range of more than 1 Pg C year-1, with a maximum in 1998 (3.2 Pg C year -1) and a minimum in 2000 (2.0 Pg C year-1).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3423-3441
Number of pages19
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Volume6
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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biomass burning
net primary production
satellite data
Along Track Scanning Radiometer
carbon emission
photosynthetically active radiation
terrestrial ecosystem
peatland
organic soil
savanna
deforestation
MODIS
solar radiation
respiration
greenhouse gas
time series
aerosol
atmosphere
temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Van Der Werf, G. R., Randerson, J. T., Giglio, L., Collatz, G. J., Kasibhatla, P. S., & Arellano, A. F. (2006). Interannual variability in global biomass burning emissions from 1997 to 2004. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 6(11), 3423-3441.

Interannual variability in global biomass burning emissions from 1997 to 2004. / Van Der Werf, G. R.; Randerson, J. T.; Giglio, L.; Collatz, G. J.; Kasibhatla, P. S.; Arellano, Avelino F.

In: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 6, No. 11, 2006, p. 3423-3441.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Van Der Werf, GR, Randerson, JT, Giglio, L, Collatz, GJ, Kasibhatla, PS & Arellano, AF 2006, 'Interannual variability in global biomass burning emissions from 1997 to 2004', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 6, no. 11, pp. 3423-3441.
Van Der Werf GR, Randerson JT, Giglio L, Collatz GJ, Kasibhatla PS, Arellano AF. Interannual variability in global biomass burning emissions from 1997 to 2004. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 2006;6(11):3423-3441.
Van Der Werf, G. R. ; Randerson, J. T. ; Giglio, L. ; Collatz, G. J. ; Kasibhatla, P. S. ; Arellano, Avelino F. / Interannual variability in global biomass burning emissions from 1997 to 2004. In: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 2006 ; Vol. 6, No. 11. pp. 3423-3441.
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