Updated land use and land cover information improves biomass burning emission estimates

Guilherme Mataveli, Gabriel Pereira, Alber Sanchez, Gabriel de Oliveira, Matthew W. Jones, Saulo R. Freitas, Luiz E. O. C. Aragão

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Biomass burning (BB) emissions negatively impact the biosphere and human lives. Orbital remote sensing and modelling are used to estimate BB emissions on regional to global scales, but these estimates are subject to errors related to the parameters, data, and methods available. For example, emission factors (mass emitted by species during BB per mass of dry matter burned) are based on land use and land cover (LULC) classifications that vary considerably across products. In this work, we evaluate how BB emissions vary in the PREP-CHEM-SRC emission estimator tool (version 1.8.3) when it is run with original LULC data from MDC12Q1 (collection 5.1) and newer LULC data from MapBiomas (collection 6.0). We compare the results using both datasets in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado biomes during the 2002–2020 time series. A major reallocation of emissions occurs within Brazil when using the MapBiomas product, with emissions decreasing by 788 Gg (−1.91% year−1) in the Amazon and emissions increasing by 371 Gg (2.44% year−1) in the Cerrado. The differences identified are mostly associated with the better capture of the deforestation process in the Amazon and forest formations in Northern Cerrado with the MapBiomas product, as emissions in forest-related LULCs decreased by 5260 Gg in the Amazon biome and increased by 1676 Gg in the Cerrado biome. This is an important improvement to PREP-CHEM-SRC, which could be considered the tool to build South America’s official BB emission inventory and to provide a basis for setting emission reduction targets and assessing the effectiveness of mitigation strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number426
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2023

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