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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d91jun50

"Molecular Nitrogen Emissions from Denitrification during Biomass Burning," T.A. Kuhlbusch (Anorganisch-Chem. Inst., Westfälische Wilhelms Univ., W. Klemm Str. 8, 4400 Münster, Ger.), J.M. Lobert et al., Nature, 351(6322), 135-137, May 9, 1991. Experiments confirm that molecular nitrogen is the most important nitrogen species from biomass burning.

Item #d91jun51

"Amazonia Biomass Burnings in 1987 and an Estimate of Their Tropospheric Emissions," A.W. Setzer (Inst. Pesquisas Espaciais - INPE (Brazilian Space Inst.), C.P. 515, 12201-S.J. Campos, SP Brasil), M.C. Pereira, Ambio, 20(1), 19-22, Feb. 1991.

A conservative estimate based on AVHRR images from the NOAA-9 satellite indicated 350,000 independent fires during the 1987 dry seasons, corresponding to as much as 20 million hectares burned, of which 8 million were associated with recent deforestation. Quantities of CO2, CO, particulates, ozone, CH4, NOx and CH3Cl produced are estimated. Resulting emissions caused severe atmospheric pollution on a synoptic scale with possible global implications, and should be of high concern in the future.

Item #d91jun52

"Enhancements of CO and O3 from Burnings in Sugar Cane Fields," V.W.J.H. Kirchhoff (addr. immed. above), E.V.A. Marinho et al., J. Atmos. Chem., 12(1), 87-102, Jan. 1991. Aircraft measurements of CO and O3 in the wet and dry seasons are compared with measurements from fires in tropical rainforests.

Item #d91jun53

"Biomass Burning in the Tropics: Impact on Atmospheric Chemistry and Biogeochemical Cycles," P.J. Crutzen (Dept. Atmos. Chem., Max Planck Inst., POB 3060, D-6500 Mainz, Ger.), M.O. Andreae, Science, 250(4988), 1669-1678, Dec. 21, 1990.

Updates quantitative estimates of the extent of biomass burning worldwide, and discusses the substantial consequences of resulting gaseous and particulate emissions on atmospheric chemistry, climate and ecology. While biomass burning does not necessarily cause a net release of CO2 to the atmosphere, there is a net transfer of particulate matter and trace gases other than CO2 (such as carbon monoxide and methane) which can have large influences.

Item #d91jun54

"Convection Links Biomass Burning to Increased Tropical Ozone: However, Models Will Tend to Overpredict O3," R.B. Chatfield (NASA-Ames, Moffett Field CA 94035), A.C. Delany, J. Geophys. Res., 95(D11), 18,473-18,488, Oct. 20, 1990.

Compares model simulations employing various degrees of detail to describe emission, transport and deposition, especially the role of cumulus convection. The time and space smoothing used by atmospheric models tends to overpredict O3 levels resulting from biomass burning; results are sensitive to the timing of emissions and transport.

Item #d91jun55

"The Significance of Biomass Burning as a Source of Carbon Monoxide and Ozone in the Southern Hemisphere Tropics: A Satellite Analysis," C.E. Watson (Lockheed Eng. Corp., 144 Research Dr., Hampton VA 23666), J. Fishman, H.G. Reichle Jr., ibid., 95(D10), 16,443-16,450, Sep. 20, 1990.

Compares O3 data from TOMS and SAGE I and II to CO data from MAPS. Coincident high values of CO and O3 in the rural southern tropics (central South America and southeastern Africa) are most likely from biomass burning and subsequent transport over thousands of kilometers.

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