Daily global fire radiative power fields estimation from one or two MODIS instruments
Abstract. Fires are important emitters of aerosol and trace gases and as such need to be taken into account in any atmospheric composition modelling enterprise. One method to estimate these emissions is to convert fire radiative power (FRP) analysis into dry matter burnt and emissions of smoke constituents using land-cover-dependent conversion factors. Inventories like the Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS) follow this approach by calculating daily global smoke emissions from FRP observed by the MODIS instruments onboard the Terra and Aqua satellites. Observations with different overpass times systematically sample fires at different stages in the strong diurnal fire cycle. For some time periods, observations are available from only one instrument, which leads to a bias in the observed average FRP.
We develop a method to correct this bias in daily FRP observations from any low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite, so that the budget of daily smoke emissions remains independent of the number of satellites from which FRP observations are taken into account. This ensures the possibility of running, for example, GFAS in case of failure of one of the MODIS instruments. It also enables the extension GFAS to 2000–2002 and the inclusion of FRP observations from upcoming satellite missions. The correction combines linear and non-linear regressions and uses an adaptive regionalization algorithm. It decreases the bias in daily average FRP from Terra and Aqua by more than 95%, and RMSE by 75% for Aqua and 55% for Terra. The correction algorithm is applied to Terra observations from 25 February 2000 to 31 December 2002, when Aqua observations were not available. The database of fire emissions GFASv1.0 is extended correspondingly.