04 Apr 2022
04 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Fire-climate interactions through aerosol radiative effect in a global chemistry-climate-vegetation model

Chenguang Tian1,2, Xu Yue1, Jun Zhu1, Hong Liao1, Yang Yang1, Yadong Lei3, Xinyi Zhou1, Hao Zhou2, Yimian Ma2, and Yang Cao2 Chenguang Tian et al.
  • 1Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control, Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology (NUIST), Nanjing, 210044, China
  • 2Climate Change Research Center, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029, China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather & Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry of CMA, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, 100081, China

Abstract. Fire emissions influence radiation, climate, and ecosystems through aerosol radiative effects. Meanwhile, these environmental perturbations can feed back to affect fire emissions. However, the magnitude of such fire-climate interactions remains unclear on the global scale. Here, we quantify the impacts of fire aerosols on climate through direct, indirect, and albedo effects based on the two-way simulations using a well-established chemistry-climate-vegetation model. Globally, fire emissions cause a reduction of -0.57 W m-2 in net radiation at the top of atmosphere with dominant contributions by aerosol indirect effect (AIE). Consequently, surface air temperature decreases by 0.06 °C with coolings of > 0.25 °C over eastern Amazon, western U.S., and boreal Asia. Both aerosol direct effect (ADE) and AIE contribute to such cooling while the aerosol albedo effect (AAE) exerts an offset warming especially at high latitudes. Land precipitation decreases by 0.018 mm month-1 mainly due to the inhibition in central Africa by AIE. Such rainfall deficit further reduces regional leaf area index (LAI) and lightning ignitions, leading to changes in fire emissions. Globally, fire emissions reduce by 2 %–3 % because of the fire-induced changes in humidity, lightning, and LAI. The fire-climate interactions may cause larger perturbations to climate systems with likely more fires under global warming.

Chenguang Tian et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-175', Matthew Kasoar, 18 May 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-175', Anonymous Referee #2, 27 May 2022

Chenguang Tian et al.

Chenguang Tian et al.


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Short summary
We quantify the impacts of fire aerosols on climate through direct, indirect, and albedo effects. We find global fire aerosols cause a cooling of surface air temperature and an inhibition of precipitation. These climatic perturbations further reduce regional leaf area index and lightning ignitions, both of which are not beneficial for fire emissions. By considering the feedback of fire aerosols on humidity, lightning, and LAI, we predict a slight reduction in fire emissions.