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Direct measurements of the seasonality of emission factors from savanna fires in northern Australia

Meyer, C. P., Cook, Garry D., Reisen, F., Smith, T. E. L., Tattaris, M., Russell-Smith, Jeremy, Maier, Stefan W., Yates, Cameron P. and Wooster, M, J. (2012). Direct measurements of the seasonality of emission factors from savanna fires in northern Australia. Journal of Geophysical Research,117(D20305):1-14.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 82057923xPUB330
Title Direct measurements of the seasonality of emission factors from savanna fires in northern Australia
Author Meyer, C. P.
Cook, Garry D.
Reisen, F.
Smith, T. E. L.
Tattaris, M.
Russell-Smith, Jeremy
Maier, Stefan W.
Yates, Cameron P.
Wooster, M, J.
Journal Name Journal of Geophysical Research
Publication Date 2012
Volume Number 117
Issue Number D20305
ISSN 0148-0227   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84868355613
Start Page 1
End Page 14
Total Pages 14
Place of Publication Washington, United States
Publisher American Physical Union
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Current good practice guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories requires that seasonal variation in emission factors from savanna fires be considered when compiling national accounts. African studies concluded that the emission factor for methane decreases during the dry season principally due to curing of the fuels. However, available data from Australian tropical savannas shows no effect of seasonality on emission factors, consistent with observations that the fine fuels appear to cure fully soon after the start of the fire season. To test whether the seasonality in greenhouse gas emission factors reported for Africa also occurs in Australia, methane and nitrous oxide emission factors were measured in early and in late dry season fires in Western Arnhem Land, a region typical of much of the northern Australia savanna zone. We found no significant seasonality in methane emission factors, but there was substantial variation in emission factors associated with inter-fire differences in vegetation and fuel. This variation could be explained almost completely by combustion efficiency. Nitrous oxide emission factors were not related to combustion efficiency but showed some variation across vegetation and fuel size class. Both methane and nitrous oxide emission factors were consistent with previous work in northern Australia and with some published values from Africa. The absence of a significant seasonal trend in emission factors indicates that savanna fire emissions in northern Australia can be managed by strategic prescribed burning.
Keywords Biomass burning
Emission factors
Greenhouse gas emissions
Nitrous oxide
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