Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 19599-19640, 2009
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/19599/2009/
doi:10.5194/acpd-9-19599-2009
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Estimates of biomass burning emissions in tropical Asia based on satellite-derived data
D. Chang and Y. Song
Department of Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China

Abstract. Biomass burning in tropical Asia emits large amounts of trace gases and particulate matters into the atmosphere, which has significant implications for atmospheric chemistry and climatic change. In this study, emissions from open biomass burning over tropical Asia were evaluated during seven fire years from 2000–2006 (1 April 2000–31 March 2007). Burned areas were estimated from newly published 1-km L3JRC and 500-m MODIS burned area products (MCD45A1). Available fuel loads and emission factors were assigned for each vegetation type in a GlobCover characterisation map, and fuel moisture content was taken into account when calculating combustion factors. Over the whole period, both burned areas and fire emissions clearly showed spatial and seasonal variations. The L3JRC burned areas ranged from 31 165 km2 in fire year 2005 to 57 313 km2 in 2000, while the MCD45A1 burned areas ranged from 54 260 km2 in fire year 2001 to 127 068 km2 in 2004. Comparisons of L3JRC and MCD45A1 burned areas with ground-based measurements and other satellite information were constructed in several major burning regions, and results suggested that MCD45A1 performed better in most areas than L3JRC did although with a certain degree of underestimation of burned forest areas. The average annual L3JRC-based emissions were 125, 12, 0.98, 1.91, 0.11, 0.89, 0.044, 0.022, 0.42, 3.40, and 3.68 Tg yr for CO2, CO, CH4, NMHCs, NOx, NH3, SO2, BC, OC, PM2.5, and PM10, respectively, while MCD45A1-based emissions were 130, 9.79, 0.65, 1.14, 0.12, 0.56, 0.046, 0.036, 0.42, 3.21, and 3.49 Tg yr−1. Forest burning was determined as the major source of the fire emissions due to the high carbon density. Although agricultural burning was the second important contributor, a great deal of crop residue combustion could probably be missed by satellite observations when compared to previously published data, which may be because of its small burning size. Fire emissions were mainly concentrated in Indonesia, India, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Furthermore, the peak in burned area was generally found in the early fire season, while the maximum fire emissions often occurred in the late fire season.

Citation: Chang, D. and Song, Y.: Estimates of biomass burning emissions in tropical Asia based on satellite-derived data, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 19599-19640, doi:10.5194/acpd-9-19599-2009, 2009.
 
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