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Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

International geosphere-biosphere programme/international global atmospheric chemistry SAFARI-92 field experiment: Background and overview


  • J. A. Lindesay,

  • M. O. Andreae,

  • J. G. Goldammer,

  • G. Harris,

  • H. J. Annegarn,

  • M. Garstang,

  • R. J. Scholes,

  • B. W. van Wilgen


The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme/International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGBP/IGAC) Southern Africa Fire-Atmosphere Research Initiative (SAFARI-92) field experiment was conducted in the 1992 dry season in southern Africa. The objective of the experiment was a comprehensive investigation of the role of vegetation fires, particularly savanna fires, in atmospheric chemistry, climate, and ecology. During SAFARI-92 experimental fires were conducted in Kruger National Park, South Africa, and at some sites in Zambia, in order to study fire behavior and trace gas and aerosol emissions. Regional studies on atmospheric chemistry and meteorology showed that vegetation fires account for a substantial amount of photochemical oxidants and haze over the subcontinent, and that the export of smoke-laden air masses contributed strongly to the ozone burden of the remote atmosphere in the southern tropical Atlantic region. The relationships between fire, soil moisture status, and soil trace gas emissions were investigated for several climatically and chemically important gases. Remote sensing studies showed that advanced very high resolution radiometer/local area coverage (AVHRR/LAC) imagery was valuable for fire monitoring in the region and in combination with biomass models could be used for the estimation of pyrogenic emissions.

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