Special Issue "Biomass Burning"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Xiaoyang Zhang

Geospatial Sciences Center, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biomass burning emissions; burned area; fire seasonality; climate change; real-time monitoring; remote sensing
Guest Editor
Dr. Shobha Kondragunta

NOAA/NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research, 5825 University Research Court, College Park, MD, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: remote sensing of aerosols; biomass burning emissions; trace gases and application of remotely sensed data to air quality monitoring and modeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biomass burning in wildfires and prescribed fires has a significant influence on ecosystem structure and function, trace gas emissions, carbon cycle, air quality, energy feedbacks to the climate system, regional socioeconomic conditions, and future land use planning. Biomass burning releases a large amount of trace gases and aerosol emissions, which significantly influence the Earth’s atmosphere and climate. Greenhouse gases from biomass burning lead to an increased warming of the Earth, which could result in more frequent and larger fires. Aerosol emissions from biomass burning affect both local and global air quality, which has strong impacts on human health and environmental pollution. During past decades, biomass burning has been investigated based on inventory data and satellite observations. Several regional and global biomass burning emissions products have been produced for monitoring and forecasting air quality, assessing carbon budget, and exploring climate impacts. However, the discrepancies in the current estimates of biomass burning remain considerable, which results in the large uncertainties in the environmental modeling. It is necessary to quantify biomass burning accurately, particularly with the increase of biomass burning in last decade.

We invite you to submit articles concerning your recent research in the estimates of biomass burning, the applications of fire emissions in air quality monitoring, and the climate impacts with respect to the following topics:
•    Measuring and modeling of biomass burning emissions at local and global scales
•    Evaluation and valuation of the estimates of biomass burning
•    Application of biomass burning emissions for air quality monitoring
•    Long-term biomass burning variation and climate impacts

Dr. Xiaoyang Zhang
Dr. Shobha Kondragunta
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Estimates of biomass burning
  • Satellite observations
  • Validation and evaluation
  • Air quality modeling
  • Climate impacts

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Estimation of the Elemental to Organic Carbon Ratio in Biomass Burning Aerosol Using AERONET Retrievals
Atmosphere 2017, 8(7), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8070122
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 4 July 2017 / Accepted: 6 July 2017 / Published: 9 July 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The balance between the cooling and warming effects of aerosol originating from open biomass burning (BB) critically depends on the ratio of its major absorbing and scattering components, such as elemental carbon (EC) and organic carbon (OC), but available direct measurements of this [...] Read more.
The balance between the cooling and warming effects of aerosol originating from open biomass burning (BB) critically depends on the ratio of its major absorbing and scattering components, such as elemental carbon (EC) and organic carbon (OC), but available direct measurements of this ratio in remote regions are limited and rather uncertain. Here, we propose a method to estimate the EC/OC mass ratio in BB aerosol using continuous observations of aerosol optical properties by the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) and apply it to the data from two AERONET sites situated in Siberia. Our method exploits a robust experimental finding (that was reported recently based on laboratory analysis of aerosol from the combustion of wildland fuels) that the single scattering albedo of BB aerosol particles depends linearly on the EC/(EC + OC) mass ratio. We estimated that the mean value of the EC/OC ratio in BB aerosol observed in summer 2012 was 0.036 (±0.009), which is less than the corresponding value (0.061) predicted in our simulations with a chemistry transport model using the emission factors from the Global Fire Emissions Database 4 (GFED4) fire emission inventory. Based on results of our analysis, we propose a parameterization that allows constraining the EC/OC ratio in BB aerosol with available satellite observations of the absorption and extinction aerosol optical depths. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Burning)
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Open AccessArticle
Intercomparison of MODIS and VIIRS Fire Products in Khanty-Mansiysk Russia: Implications for Characterizing Gas Flaring from Space
Atmosphere 2017, 8(6), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8060095
Received: 24 February 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (8396 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gas flaring is commonly used by industrial plants for processing oil and natural gases in the atmosphere, and hence is an important anthropogenic source for various pollutants including CO2, CO, and aerosols. This study evaluates the feasibility of using satellite data [...] Read more.
Gas flaring is commonly used by industrial plants for processing oil and natural gases in the atmosphere, and hence is an important anthropogenic source for various pollutants including CO2, CO, and aerosols. This study evaluates the feasibility of using satellite data to characterize gas flaring from space by focusing on the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug in Russia, a region that is well known for its dominant gas flaring activities. Multiple satellite-based thermal anomaly data products at night are intercompared and analyzed, including MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) Terra level 2 Thermal Anomalies product (MOD14), MODIS Aqua level 2 Thermal Anomalies product (MYD14), VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) Active Fires Applications Related Product (VAFP), and VIIRS level 2 Nightfire product (VNF). The analysis compares and contrasts the efficacy of these sensor products in detecting small, hot sources like flares on the ground in extremely cold environments such as Russia. We found that the VNF algorithm recently launched by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the unprecedented accuracy and efficiency in characterizing gas flares in the region owing primarily to the use of Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) bands. Reconciliation of VNF’s differences and similarities with other nighttime fire products is also conducted, indicating that MOD14/MYD14 and VAFP data are only effective in detecting those gas flaring pixels that are among the hottest in the region; incorporation of shortwave infrared (1.6 µm) band used in VNF may improve the detection of relatively cooler gas flares. The gas flaring locations from the VNF product are validated using Google Earth images. It is shown that VNF’s estimates of the area of gas flaring agree well with the Google image counterparts with a linear correlation of 0.91, highlighting its potential use for routinely monitoring emissions of gas flaring from space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Burning)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Effects of Agricultural Biomass Burning on Regional Haze in China: A Review
Atmosphere 2017, 8(5), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8050088
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 18 May 2017
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (561 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Burning agricultural straw before and/or after harvest is a common farming practice. Regional and extensive agricultural open field straw burning can cause serious air pollution events. This paper looks at the effects of biomass burning emission on regional haze that should be considered [...] Read more.
Burning agricultural straw before and/or after harvest is a common farming practice. Regional and extensive agricultural open field straw burning can cause serious air pollution events. This paper looks at the effects of biomass burning emission on regional haze that should be considered in the forecasting of regional haze. It describes the current state of crop residue burning in China, and analyzes the relationship between biomass burning and regional haze in terms of temporal/spatial patterns and chemical composition. Finally, some suggestions/recommendations are proposed for the recycling of agricultural straw to reduce the impact of biomass burning on regional haze and air quality. We suggest that prescribed open burning would be a more suitable solution in China. We hope that this report about biomass burning and regional haze will bring the issue to the attention of governments and other researchers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Burning)
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Open AccessReview
Particulate Matter Emission Factors for Biomass Combustion
Atmosphere 2016, 7(11), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7110141
Received: 6 September 2016 / Revised: 22 October 2016 / Accepted: 27 October 2016 / Published: 31 October 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (301 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Emission factor is a relative measure and can be used to estimate emissions from multiple sources of air pollution. For this reason, data from literature on particulate matter emission factors from different types of biomass were evaluated in this paper. Initially, the main [...] Read more.
Emission factor is a relative measure and can be used to estimate emissions from multiple sources of air pollution. For this reason, data from literature on particulate matter emission factors from different types of biomass were evaluated in this paper. Initially, the main sources of particles were described, as well as relevant concepts associated with particle measurements. In addition, articles about particle emissions were classified and described in relation to the sampling environment (open or closed) and type of burned biomass (agricultural, garden, forest, and dung). Based on this analysis, a set of emission factors was presented and discussed. Important observations were made about the main emission sources of particulate matter. Combustion of compacted biomass resulted in lower particulate emission factors. PM2.5 emissions were predominant in the burning of forest biomass. Emission factors were more elevated in laboratory burning, followed by burns in the field, residences and combustors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Burning)
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