Biomass burning changes the land surface drastically and leads to the release of large amounts of trace gases and aerosol particles that play important roles in atmospheric chemistry and climate. In addition, there is large uncertainty on how climate change and global change will impact the frequency, intensity, duration, and location of biomass burning in the short- and long-term, making their emissions a large source of uncertainty in future atmospheric composition. Therefore biomass burning and its emissions need to be observed and modeled accurately to understande the composition of the atmosphere and how it changes at different temporal and spatial scales. Significant gaps remain in our understanding of the contribution of deforestation and savanna, forest, agricultural waste, and peat fires to emissions. Coordinated international activities organized by IGAC, iLEAPS, and WMO (e.g., interdisciplinary laboratory measurements and field campaigns that integrate ground-based and airborne observations, as well as detailed analysis of satellite data and numerical modeling results) will help better quantify the present and future impact of biomass burning emissions on the composition and chemistry of the Earth’s atmosphere.
The primary goal of IBBI is to improve scientific understanding of the various processes associated with open biomass burning in order to make atmospheric composition prediction and air quality monitoring and forecasting better. The initiative aims to achieve this by instigating new interdisciplinary research on biomass burning in a series of workshops. IBBI is thus science-driven and application-oriented. IBBI activities address five key topics:
- Fire products (burned area, fire radiative power, emission factors, etc.);
- Fire models and the representation of fires within models at different spatial scales;
- Observations of fires, smoke and atmospheric composition;
- The influence of fires on air quality; and
- The link between fires and climate change.
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Historic global biomass burning emissions based on merging satellite observations with proxies and fire models (1750–2015). van Marle, M., Kloster, S., Magi, B., Marlon, J., Daniau, A., Field, R., Arneth, A., Forrest, M., Hantson, S., Kehrwald, N., Knorr, W., Lasslop, G., Li, F., Mangeon, S., Yue, C., Kaiser, J., and van der Werf, G. (2017). Geosci. Model Dev., 10:3329–3357.
Interdisciplinary Research Aspects of Open Biomass Burning and its Impact on the Atmosphere Special Issue (2015) Eds. J.W. Kaiser and M. Keywood. Atmos. Env..