February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 4, NUMBER 6, JUNE 1991
"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
"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.
"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
"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.
"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.
"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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