Articles | Volume 15, issue 9
Research article
13 May 2015
Research article |  | 13 May 2015

Greenhouse gas emissions from laboratory-scale fires in wildland fuels depend on fire spread mode and phase of combustion

N. C. Surawski, A. L. Sullivan, C. P. Meyer, S. H. Roxburgh, and P. J. Polglase

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Subject: Gases | Research Activity: Laboratory Studies | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Chemistry (chemical composition and reactions)
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Cited articles

Akagi, S. K., Yokelson, R. J., Wiedinmyer, C., Alvarado, M. J., Reid, J. S., Karl, T., Crounse, J. D., and Wennberg, P. O.: Emission factors for open and domestic biomass burning for use in atmospheric models, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 4039–4072,, 2011.
Andreae, M. O. and Merlet, P.: Emission of trace gases and aerosols from biomass burning, Glob. Biogeochem. Cy., 15, 955–966,, 2001.
Baer, D. S., Paul, J. B., Gupta, J. B., and O'Keefe, A.: Sensitive absorption measurements in the near-infrared region using off-axis integrated-cavity-output spectroscopy, Appl. Phys. B-Lasers Optics, 75, 261–265,, 2002.
Byram, G. M.: Combustion of forest fuels, in: Forest Fire Control and Use, edited by: Davis, K., 61–89, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1959.
Short summary
By undertaking greenhouse gas emissions measurements (plus CO) in a combustion wind tunnel facility, we show that emissions from fire depend on how they spread relative to the wind. Statistically significant differences include fires spreading with the wind emitting twice as much CO as fires spreading perpendicular to or against the wind, and about 10-17% more carbon dioxide. Our results suggest that judicious use of ignition patterns could mitigate carbon emissions from forest fires.
Final-revised paper