Articles | Volume 17, issue 4
Research article
27 Feb 2017
Research article |  | 27 Feb 2017

Two global data sets of daily fire emission injection heights since 2003

Samuel Rémy, Andreas Veira, Ronan Paugam, Mikhail Sofiev, Johannes W. Kaiser, Franco Marenco, Sharon P. Burton, Angela Benedetti, Richard J. Engelen, Richard Ferrare, and Jonathan W. Hair

Abstract. The Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS) assimilates fire radiative power (FRP) observations from satellite-based sensors to produce daily estimates of biomass burning emissions. It has been extended to include information about injection heights derived from fire observations and meteorological information from the operational weather forecasts of ECMWF.

Injection heights are provided by two distinct methods: the Integrated Monitoring and Modelling System for wildland fires (IS4FIRES) parameterisation and the one-dimensional plume rise model (PRM). A global database of daily biomass burning emissions and injection heights at 0.1° resolution has been produced for 2003–2015 and is continuously extended in near-real time with the operational GFAS service of the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS).

In this study, the two injection height data sets were compared with the new MPHP2 (MISR Plume Height Project 2) satellite-based plume height retrievals. The IS4FIRES parameterisation showed a better overall agreement than the observations, while the PRM was better at capturing the variability of injection heights. The performance of both parameterisations is also dependent on the type of vegetation.

Furthermore, the use of biomass burning emission heights from GFAS in atmospheric composition forecasts was assessed in two case studies: the South AMerican Biomass Burning Analysis (SAMBBA) campaign which took place in September 2012 in Brazil, and a series of large fire events in the western USA in August 2013. For these case studies, forecasts of biomass burning aerosol species by the Composition Integrated Forecasting System (C-IFS) of CAMS were found to better reproduce the observed vertical distribution when using PRM injection heights from GFAS compared to aerosols emissions being prescribed at the surface.

The globally available GFAS injection heights introduced and evaluated in this study provide a comprehensive data set for future fire and atmospheric composition modelling studies.

Short summary
Biomass burning emission injection heights are an important source of uncertainty in global climate and atmospheric composition modelling. This work provides a global daily data set of injection heights computed by two very different algorithms, which coherently complete a global biomass burning emissions database. The two data sets were compared and validated against observations, and their use was found to improve forecasts of carbonaceous aerosols in two case studies.
Final-revised paper