Tuesday, 18 November 2003: 2:15 PM
Spatial and Temporal Variability of Wildland Fire Emissions over the U.S
Smoke from wildland fires releases dramatic amounts of PM, CO, SO2, NOx, VOC and other chemical species. Meanwhile, high level of O3 can build up as a result of the emissions. These air pollutants can cause serious consequence to regional and local air quality by reducing visibility, generating smog, and threatening health of human being and ecosystem. EPA recently issued new standards for PM, O3, and regional haze. It is of critical importance to understand the magnitude and variability of various species of wildland fire emissions for evaluating possible impacts of the new standards on fire and air quality management. This study investigates spatial and temporal variability of wildland fire emissions over the U.S. during 1980-2002. The emissions are estimated using the historical fire data, fuel loading factors, and emission factors. The preliminary results indicate that wild fire emissions decrease from the northwestern Pacific to the eastern coast. Major emissions occur during the summer months of a year. The intensity changes significantly from one year to another. Prescribed fire emissions have a similar geographic pattern but the emissions over southeastern region become remarkable. The emissions over most regions show an increase in the recent years. There is significant correlation between the wild-fire emossions and meteorological elements (precipitation and temperature), especially over the western regions.