Special Issue "Biomass Burning Emissions Modeling and Simulation: In Partnership with the Third International Smoke Symposium"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Shawn P. Urbanski
Guest Editor
USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula, MT 59808, USA
Interests: wildland fire; fire emissions; emission inventories; emission factors; smoke impacts; plume rise

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biomass burning smoke is a rich mixture containing hundreds of gases and aerosol diverse in size, composition, and morphology. Globally, biomass fires are a major source of gases and aerosols, and the production, dispersion, and transformation of biomass fire emissions has significant air quality and climate impacts. In many regions across the globe, biomass fires are a significant source of air pollution and can be a major hazard to public health. Aerosols from biomass fires impact the climate system by absorbing and scattering radiation, by affecting the optical properties, coverage, and lifetime of clouds, and by lowering the snow and ice albedo in the Arctic. Over the last decade, significant progress has been made in characterizing the composition of fresh smoke, modeling smoke emissions, understanding the chemical and physical processes that transform smoke as it ages and mixes with the ambient atmosphere, and simulating the related air quality and climate impacts.

The open-access journal Atmosphere in partnership with the Third International Smoke Symposium (https://www.iawfonline.org/event/3rd-international-smoke-symposium/) is hosting a Special Issue featuring models of biomass burning emissions, smoke transport and transformation, and associated air quality impacts. Original research covering all aspects of retrospective and operational emission inventories, plume rise, smoke dispersion, and smoke chemistry is solicited. This Special Issue also seeks modeling and observational studies of smoke impacts on air quality and atmospheric composition. Studies across all scales, from individual prescribed fires to global emissions inventories, are welcome. Works on the development of models and methods for forecasting the emissions and associated air quality impacts of wildfire smoke are especially encouraged.

Dr. Shawn P. Urbanski
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Biomass burning
  • Wildland fire
  • Emissions
  • Emission inventories
  • Plume rise
  • Smoke dispersion
  • Smoke impacts

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
The Uncharacteristic Occurrence of the June 2013 Biomass-Burning Haze Event in Southeast Asia: Effects of the Madden-Julian Oscillation and Tropical Cyclone Activity
Atmosphere 2020, 11(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11010055 - 01 Jan 2020
One of the worst haze events to ever hit Peninsular Malaysia occurred in June 2013 due to smoke from Riau, Central Sumatra. While biomass-burning in the region is common, the early occurrence of a haze episode of this magnitude was uncharacteristic of the [...] Read more.
One of the worst haze events to ever hit Peninsular Malaysia occurred in June 2013 due to smoke from Riau, Central Sumatra. While biomass-burning in the region is common, the early occurrence of a haze episode of this magnitude was uncharacteristic of the seasonality of extreme fire events, which usually occur between August and October in the Maritime Continent (MC). This study aims to investigate the phenomenology of the June 2013 haze event and its underlying meteorological forcing agents. The aerosol and meteorological environment during the event is examined using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) active fire hotspot detections and aerosol optical thickness retrievals, satellite-based precipitation retrievals, and meteorological indices. These datasets are then supported by a WRF-Chem simulation to provide a comprehensive picture of the event’s meteorology and aerosol transport phenomenology. While extreme fire events are more characteristic of El Nino years, the MODIS fire count over the MC in June for the years 2001–2015 was highest in 2013 when neutral El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions prevailed. Although, the mean daily precipitation for June 2013 was below average for June 2003–2015. An early active tropical cyclone (TC) season occurred in 2013, and results show that the combined induced subsidence and flow enhancement due to TC Bebinca and the dry phases of a strong Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) event contributed to the event intensification. Results also show that Bebinca induced a decrease in surface relative humidity of at least 10% over Riau, where fire hotspots were concentrated. Full article
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