Improving estimates of savanna burning emissions for greenhouse accounting in northern Australia: limitations, challenges, applications

Improving estimates of savanna burning emissions for greenhouse accounting in northern Australia: limitations, challenges, applications

Title
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsRussell-Smith, J, Murphy, BP, Meyer, MCP, Cook, GD, Maier, SW, Edwards, AC, Schatz, J, Brocklehurst, P
JournalInternational Journal of Wildland Fire
Volume18
Issue1
Pagination1 - 18
Date Published01/01/09
ISSN1049-8001
Abstract

Although biomass burning of savannas is recognised as a major global source of greenhouse gas emissions, quantification remains problematic with resulting regional emissions estimates often differing markedly. Here we undertake a critical assessment of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (NGGI) savanna burning emissions methodology. We describe the methodology developed for, and results and associated uncertainties derived from, a landscape-scale emissions abatement project in fire-prone western Arnhem Land, northern Australia. The methodology incorporates (i) detailed fire history and vegetation structure and fuels type mapping derived from satellite imagery; (ii) field-based assessments of fuel load accumulation, burning efficiencies (patchiness, combustion efficiency, ash retention) and N : C composition; and (iii) application of standard, regionally derived emission factors. Importantly, this refined methodology differs from the NGGI by incorporation of fire seasonality and severity components, and substantial improvements in baseline data. We consider how the application of a fire management program aimed at shifting the seasonality of burning (from one currently dominated by extensive late dry season wildfires to one where strategic fire management is undertaken earlier in the year) can provide significant project-based emissions abatement. The approach has wider application to fire-prone savanna systems dominated by anthropogenic sources of ignition.

URLhttp://espace.cdu.edu.au/view/cdu:7234
DOI10.1071/WF08009
Refereed DesignationRefereed

Publications

RIEL Headlines

Pages

Jump to NRBL themeJump to CMEM themeJump to FEM themeJump to SMWC themeJump to TRF themeJump to RIEL home

Innovative Research University

© 2011-2013 Charles Darwin University
Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods
Privacy Policy
CRICOS Provider No. 00300K | RTO Provider No. 0373

Phone (+61) 8 8946 6413
Email riel@cdu.edu.au