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Ichoku, C, Kaufman, YJ (2005). A method to derive smoke emission rates from MODIS fire radiative energy measurements. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, 43(11), 2636-2649.

Present methods of emissions estimation from satellite data often use fire pixel counts, even though fire strengths and smoke emission rates can differ by some orders of magnitude between pixels. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) measurements of fire radiative energy (FRE) release rates R-fre range from less than 10 to more than 1700 MW per pixel at I-km resolution. To account for the effect of such a wide range of fire strengths/sizes on smoke emission rates, we have developed direct linear relationships between the MODIS-measured R-fre and smoke aerosol emission rates R-sa (in kilograms per second), derived by analyzing MODIS measurements of aerosol spatial distribution around the fires with National Center for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research wind fields. We applied the technique to several regions around the world and derived a FRE-based smoke emission coefficient, C-e (in kilograms per megajoule), which can be simply multiplied by R-fre to calculate R-sa. This new coefficient C-e is an excellent remote sensing parameter expressing the emission strength of different ecosystems and regions. Analysis of all 2002 MODIS data from Terra and Aqua satellites yielded C-e values of 0.02-0.06 kg/MJ for boreal regions, 0.044.08 kg/MJ for both tropical forests and savanna regions, and 0.08-0.1 kg/MJ for Western Russian regions. These results are probably overestimated by about 50% because of uncertainties in some of the data, parameters, and assumptions; involved in the computations. This 50% overestimation is comparable to uncertainties in traditional emission factors. However, our satellite method shows great promise for accuracy improvement, as better knowledge is gained about the sources of the uncertainties.



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