Global carbon emissions from biomass burning in the 20th century
Article first published online: 4 JAN 2006
Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 33, Issue 1, January 2006
How to Cite
2006), Global carbon emissions from biomass burning in the 20th century, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L01801, doi:10.1029/2005GL024707., , , , and (
- Issue published online: 4 JAN 2006
- Article first published online: 4 JAN 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 NOV 2005
- Manuscript Revised: 9 NOV 2005
- Manuscript Received: 23 SEP 2005
 We used a new, 100-year, 1 × 1° global fire map and a carbon cycle model (CASA) to provide a yearly gridded estimate of the temporal trend in carbon emissions due to wildfires through the 20th century. 2700–3325 Tg C y−1 burn at the end of the 20th century, compared to 1500–2700 Tg C y−1 at the beginning, with increasing uncertainty moving backward in time. There have been major changes in the regional distribution of emissions from fires, as a consequence of i) increased burning in tropical savannas and ii) a switch of emissions from temperate and boreal forests towards the tropics. The frequently-used assumption that pre-industrial emissions were 10% of present biomass burning is clearly inadequate, in terms of both the total amount and the spatial distribution of combustion.