Smoke from wildfires in Siberia often affects air quality over vast territories of the Northern hemisphere during the summer. Increasing fire emissions also affect regional and global carbon balance. To estimate annual carbon emissions from wildfires in Siberia from 2002–2020, we categorized levels of fire intensity for individual active fire pixels based on fire radiative power data from the standard MODIS product (MOD14/MYD14). For the last two decades, estimated annual direct carbon emissions from wildfires varied greatly, ranging from 20–220 Tg C per year. Sporadic maxima were observed in 2003 (>150 Tg C/year), in 2012 (>220 Tg C/year), in 2019 (~180 Tg C/year). However, the 2020 fire season was extraordinary in terms of fire emissions (~350 Tg C/year). The estimated average annual level of fire emissions was 80 ± 20 Tg C/year when extreme years were excluded from the analysis. For the next decade the average level of fire emissions might increase to 250 ± 30 Tg C/year for extreme fire seasons, and to 110 ± 20 Tg C/year for moderate fire seasons. However, under the extreme IPCC RPC 8.5 scenario for Siberia, wildfire emissions might increase to 1200–1500 Tg C/year by 2050 if there were no significant changes in patterns of vegetation distribution and fuel loadings.
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