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Published January 2, 2004 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Continental-Scale Partitioning of Fire Emissions During the 1997 to 2001 El Niño/La Niña Period


During the 1997 to 1998 El Niño, drought conditions triggered widespread increases in fire activity, releasing CH_4 and CO_2 to the atmosphere. We evaluated the contribution of fires from different continents to variability in these greenhouse gases from 1997 to 2001, using satellite-based estimates of fire activity, biogeochemical modeling, and an inverse analysis of atmospheric CO anomalies. During the 1997 to 1998 El Niño, the fire emissions anomaly was 2.1 ± 0.8 petagrams of carbon, or 66 ± 24% of the CO_2 growth rate anomaly. The main contributors were Southeast Asia (60%), Central and South America (30%), and boreal regions of Eurasia and North America (10%).

Additional Information

© 2004 American Association for the Advancement of Science. 25 August 2003; Accepted 19 November 2003. This work was funded by NASA EOS-IDS grants NAG5-9462 (J.T.R.), NAG5-9440 (E.S.K.), and NAG5- 9605 (P.S.K.). We thank T. Schneider for advice on the inversion; P. Novelli, T. Conway, P. Tans, and E. Dlugokencky from the NOAA Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory for providing the trace gas observations; and K. Treseder for comments on an earlier draft.

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Supplemental Material - van_der_Werf_SOM.pdf


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