You are here

GCOS Land ECV - Fire Disturbance

Fires have impacts on several identified radiative forcing agents. While they can be a natural part of many ecosystems, they contribute to the build-up of CO2 through deforestation fires, tropical peatland fires, and areas that see an increase in the fire return interval. They also emit CH4, and are a major source of aerosols, CO and oxides of nitrogen, thus affecting local and regional air quality. Estimates of greenhouse gas emissions due to fires are essential for realistic modelling of climate and its critical component, the global carbon cycle. Fires caused deliberately for land clearance (agriculture and ranching) or accidentally (lightning strikes and human error) are a major factor in land-cover variability and change, and hence affect fluxes of energy and water to the atmosphere. Spatially and temporally resolved trace-gas and aerosol emissions from fires are the main target quantities. These can be inferred using both land-surface and atmospheric measurements (section 4.7), preferably in combination.

Product Requirements:

  • Burnt Areas:
    • Frequency:  24 hours
    • Resolution:  30 m
    • Required Measurement uncertainty:  15 % (error of omission and commission), compared to 30 m observations
    • Entity (Satellite):  WGClimate 
  • Active Fire Maps:
    • Frequency:  6 hours at all latitudes from Polar-Orbiting and 1 hour from Geostationary
    • Resolution:  0.25-1 km (Polar); 1-3 km (Geo)
    • Required Measurement uncertainty:  5 % error of commission; 10 % error of omission; Based on per-fire comparisons for fires above  target  threshold of  5 MW/km² equivalent integrated FRP per pixel (i.e. for a 0.5 km² pixel the target threshold would be 2.5 MW, for a 9 km² pixel it would be 45  MW).
    • Entity (Satellite):  WGClimate
  • Fire Radiative Power:
    • Frequency:  6 hours at all latitudes from Polar-Orbiting and 1 hour from Geostationary
    • Resolution:  0.25-1 km (Polar); 1-3 km (Geo)
    • Required Measurement uncertainty:  10 % integrated over pixel. Based on target detection threshold of  5 MW/km² equivalent integrated FRP per pixel (i.e. for a 0.5 km² pixel the target threshold would be 2.5 MW, for a 9 km² pixel it would be 45 MW) and with the same detection accuracy as the Active Fire Maps.
    • Entity (Satellite):  WGClimate

Networks:

Data Sources: