Nguyen, HM; Wooster, MJ (2020). Advances in the estimation of high Spatio-temporal resolution pan-African top-down biomass burning emissions made using geostationary fire radiative power (FRP) and MAIAC aerosol optical depth (AOD) data. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 248, 111971.

We provide major updates to the 'top down' Fire Radiative Energy Emissions (FREM) approach to biomass burning emissions calculations, bypassing the estimation of fuel consumption that is a major source of uncertainty in widely used 'bottom up' approaches. The FREM approach links satellite observations of fire radiative power (FRP) to emission rates of total particulate matter (TPM) via spatially varying smoke emissions coefficients (g.MJ(-1)) - each derived from matchups of FRP and smoke plume aerosol optical depth (AOD). In the original FREMv1 approach, FRP data came from the geostationary Meteosat satellite and AOD data from the 10 km spatial resolution MODIS MOD04 aerosol product. However, the latter often performs quite poorly close to biomass burning sources due to its large 10 km pixels, bias at high MODIS view zenith angles, and saturation and/or removal of areas of high AOD limitations introducing bias and uncertainty into the final FREM-derived smoke emissions estimates. We address each of these issues through a series of significant methodological and input data improvements, including exploitation of the 1 km MODIS MAIAC AOD product that performs far better close to fire sources. We use our FREMv2 methodology to generate a new pan-African fire emissions inventory for TPM and the carbonaceous gases CO2, CO and CH4, and our annual mean TPM emissions are within 11% of those of the MODIS-based FEER top-down approach, but significantly higher than those of GFASv1.2 and GFEDv4.1s (by 114% and 69% respectively) agreeing with independent assessments that aerosol emissions of GFASv1.2 require upscaling by a factor of 2 to 3.4 to deliver matching magnitudes between modelled and observed AODs. From our carbonaceous emissions totals we map dry matter consumed (DMC) across Africa, and dividing this by the FireCCISFD11 20 m burned area product we provide one of the first data-driven pan-African maps of fuel consumption per unit area (kg.m(-2)) which in many areas is higher than in GFEDv4.1s. Our estimates represent the highest spatio-temporal resolution biomass burning emissions data yet available over Africa, and significantly advance the aim of a pan-tropical and mid-latitude inventory based on FRP from the global geostationary satellite network (Meteosat, Meteosat IOD, GOES and Himawari).