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The influence of vegetation, fire spread and fire behaviour on biomass burning and trace gas emissions: results from a process-based model

Thonicke, K., Spessa, A., Prentice, I. C., Harrison, S. P., Dong, L. and Carmona-Moreno, C. (2010) The influence of vegetation, fire spread and fire behaviour on biomass burning and trace gas emissions: results from a process-based model. Biogeosciences, 7 (6). pp. 1991-2011. ISSN 1726-4170

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/bg-7-1991-2010

Abstract/Summary

A process-based fire regime model (SPITFIRE) has been developed, coupled with ecosystem dynamics in the LPJ Dynamic Global Vegetation Model, and used to explore fire regimes and the current impact of fire on the terrestrial carbon cycle and associated emissions of trace atmospheric constituents. The model estimates an average release of 2.24 Pg C yr−1 as CO2 from biomass burning during the 1980s and 1990s. Comparison with observed active fire counts shows that the model reproduces where fire occurs and can mimic broad geographic patterns in the peak fire season, although the predicted peak is 1–2 months late in some regions. Modelled fire season length is generally overestimated by about one month, but shows a realistic pattern of differences among biomes. Comparisons with remotely sensed burnt-area products indicate that the model reproduces broad geographic patterns of annual fractional burnt area over most regions, including the boreal forest, although interannual variability in the boreal zone is underestimated.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Walker Institute
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Earth Systems Science
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Past Climate Change
ID Code:35879
Publisher:Copernicus Publications

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