Release and dispersion of vegetation and peat fire emissions in the atmosphere over Indonesia 1997/1998
- Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Hamburg, Germany
Abstract. Smoke-haze episodes caused by vegetation and peat fires affect parts of Indonesia every year with significant impacts on human health and climate. Particularly fires in degenerated peat areas release huge amounts of trace gases, e.g. CO2, CO and CH4, and particles into the atmosphere, exceeding by far the emissions per unit area from fires in surface vegetation. However, only limited information is available about the current distribution of pristine and degenerated peat areas in Indonesia, their depth, drainage condition and modification by fire. Particularly during the strong El Niño event in 1997/1998 a huge uncertainty exists about the contribution of Indonesian peat fire emissions to the measured increase of atmospheric CO2, as the published estimates of the peat area burned differ considerably. In this paper we study the contribution of peat fire emissions in Indonesia during the El Niño event 1997/1998. A regional three-dimensional atmosphere-chemistry model is applied over Indonesia using two emission estimates. These vegetation and peat fire emission inventories for Indonesia are set up in 0.5° resolution in weekly intervals and differ only in the size of the fire affected peat areas. We evaluate simulated rainfall and particle concentrations by comparison with observations to draw conclusions on the total carbon emissions released from the vegetation and peat fires in Indonesia in 1997/1998.