Spatial and temporal patterns of carbon emissions from forest fires in China from 1950 to 2000
Melillo, Jerry M.
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We have estimated the emission of carbon (C) and carbon-containing trace gases including CO2, CO, CH4, and NMHC (nonmethane hydrocarbons) from forest fires in China for the time period from 1950 to 2000 by using a combination of remote sensing, forest fire inventory, and terrestrial ecosystem modeling. Our results suggest that mean annual carbon emission from forest fires in China is about 11.31 Tg per year, ranging from a minimum level of 8.55 Tg per year to a maximum level of 13.9 Tg per year. This amount of carbon emission is resulted from the atmospheric emissions of four trace gases as follows: (1) 40.66 Tg CO2 with a range from 29.21 to 47.53 Tg, (2) 2.71 Tg CO with a range from 1.48 to 4.30 Tg, (3) 0.112 Tg CH4 with a range from 0.06 to 0.2 Tg, and (4) 0.113 Tg NMHC with a range from 0.05 to 0.19 Tg. Our study indicates that fire-induced carbon emissions show substantial interannual and decadal variations before 1980 but have remained relatively low and stable since 1980 because of the application of fire suppression. Large spatial variation in fire-induced carbon emissions exists due to the spatial variability of climate, forest types, and fire regimes.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2006. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 111 (2006): D05313, doi:10.1029/2005JD006198.
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