Modeling and Sensitivity Analysis of Fire Emissions in Southern Africa During SAFARI 2000

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This paper uses three recently generated southern African satellite burned area products for the month of September 2000 in a sensitivity study of regional biomass burning emissions for a number of trace gases and particulates. Differences in the extent and location of areas burned among products generated from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Systeme Pour l’Observation de la Terre (SPOT-VEGETATION), and Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR-2) data are significant and result in different emissions estimates for woodland and grassland land cover types. Due to the different emission profiles in woodlands and grasslands, favoring relatively more products of incomplete combustion in woodlands compared with products of complete combustion in grasslands in the late dry season, these changes are not proportional to the differences in the burned area amounts. The importance of accurate burned area information not just in terms of the total area but also in terms of its spatial distribution becomes apparent from our modeling results. This paper highlights the urgent need for satellite data producers to provide accuracy assessments associated with satellite-derived products. Preferably, these accuracy data will be spatially explicit, or defined in a way that can be applied in a spatially explicit modeling context, to enable emissions uncertainties to be defined with respect to different landscape units in support of greenhouse gas emissions reporting.

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Remote Sensing of Environment



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