Modeling biomass burning and related carbon emissions during the 21st century in Europe
Kaiser, Johannes W.
Krasovskii, Andrey A.
San Miguel-Ayanz, Jesus
Ward, Daniel S.
KAUST DepartmentEnvironmental Science and Engineering Program
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AbstractIn this study we present an assessment of the impact of future climate change on total fire probability, burned area, and carbon (C) emissions from fires in Europe. The analysis was performed with the Community Land Model (CLM) extended with a prognostic treatment of fires that was specifically refined and optimized for application over Europe. Simulations over the 21st century are forced by five different high-resolution Regional Climate Models under the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios A1B. Both original and bias-corrected meteorological forcings is used. Results show that the simulated C emissions over the present period are improved by using bias corrected meteorological forcing, with a reduction of the intermodel variability. In the course of the 21st century, burned area and C emissions from fires are shown to increase in Europe, in particular in the Mediterranean basins, in the Balkan regions and in Eastern Europe. However, the projected increase is lower than in other studies that did not fully account for the effect of climate on ecosystem functioning. We demonstrate that the lower sensitivity of burned area and C emissions to climate change is related to the predicted reduction of the net primary productivity, which is identified as the most important determinant of fire activity in the Mediterranean region after anthropogenic interaction. This behavior, consistent with the intermediate fire-productivity hypothesis, limits the sensitivity of future burned area and C emissions from fires on climate change, providing more conservative estimates of future fire patterns, and demonstrates the importance of coupling fire simulation with a climate driven ecosystem productivity model.
CitationModeling biomass burning and related carbon emissions during the 21st century in Europe 2013, 118 (4):1732 Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences