Multi-year black carbon emissions from cropland burning in the russian federation

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Cropland fires are an important source of black carbon (BC) emissions. Previous research has suggested that springtime cropland burning in Eastern Europe, more specifically Russia, is a main contributor of BC in the Arctic atmosphere, acting as a short-lived climate forcer strongly influencing snow-ice albedo and radiation transmission. BC emissions from cropland burning were estimated for the Russian Federation for years 2003 through 2009 using three satellite fire products, the 1 km MODIS Active Fire Product, 0.5° MODIS Fire Radiative Power monthly climate modeling grid product, and the 500 m MODIS Burned Area Product, and a agricultural statistics approach based on a modified method developed and published by the All-Russian Institute of Organic Peat and Fertilizers to estimate farm- and regional-level residue loading from straw surplus left after grain harvesting, while accounting for agricultural management and agrometeorological inputs. The satellite-based emission calculations utilized several different land cover classification schemas for defining croplands in Russia for both the 1 km MODIS Land Cover Product and the 300 m MERIS GlobCover v2.2 data sets. In general, the peaks of BC emissions from cropland burning occurred during the spring (April–May), summer (July–August), and the fall (October). 2008 had the highest annual BC emissions. The range of average annual BC emissions from cropland burning calculated from the different satellite fire products was 2.49 Gg–22.2 Gg, with the agricultural statistics approach annual average equal to 8.90 Gg. The Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED) version 3 reported an annual average of 11.9 Gg of BC from agricultural burning. The results from this analysis showed that the majority of BC emissions originated in European Russia, followed by smaller contributions from West Siberia, Far East Russia, and East Siberia macro-regions. An uncertainty assessment on data used to calculate the BC emissions found moderate uncertainty in some of the input data used in this first attempt to produce spatially and temporally explicit BC emission estimates from cropland burning in the Russian Federation.

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© 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Publisher's version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.08.053

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Atmospheric Environment