Estimates of global biomass burning emissions for reactive greenhouse gases (CO, NMHCs, and NOx) and CO2

Atul K. Jain, Zhining Tao, Xiaojuan Yang, Conor Gillespie

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Open fire biomass burning and domestic biofuel burning (e.g., cooking, heating, and charcoal making) algorithms have been incorporated into a terrestrial ecosystem model to estimate CO2 and key reactive GHGs (CO, NOx, and NMHCs) emissions for the year 2000. The emissions are calculated over the globe at a 0.5° × 0.5° spatial resolution using tree density imagery, and two separate sets of data each for global area burned and land clearing for croplands, along with biofuel consumption rate data. The estimated global and annual total dry matter (DM) burned due to open fire biomass burning ranges between 5221 and 7346 Tg DM/yr, whereas the resultant emissions ranges are 6564-9093 TgCO2/yr, 438-568 Tg CO/yr, 11-16 TgNOx/yr (as NO), and 29-40 Tg NMHCs/yr. The results indicate that land use changes for cropland is one of the major sources of biomass burning, which amounts to 25-27% (CO2), 25-28% (CO), 20-23% (NO), and 28-30% (NMHCs) of the total open fire biomass burning emissions of these gases. Estimated DM burned associated with domestic biofuel burning is 3,114 Tg DM/yr, and resultant emissions are 4825 Tg CO2/yr, 243 Tg CO/yr, 3 Tg NOx/yr, and 23 Tg NMHCs/ yr. Total emissions from biomass burning are highest in tropical regions (Asia, America, and Africa), where we identify important contributions from primary forest cutting for croplands and domestic biofuel burning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberD06304
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 27 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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