Improving estimates of savanna burning emissions for greenhouse accounting in northern Australia

limitations, challenges, applications

Jeremy Russell-Smith, Bernadette Murphy, C MEYER, G COOK, Stefan Maier, A EDWARDS, J SCHATZ, P BROCKLEHURST

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCulture, ecology and economy of savanna fire management in northern Australia
    Subtitle of host publicationrekindling the Wurrk tradition.
    EditorsJ Russell-Smith, P Whitehead, P Cooke
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherCSIRO Publishing
    Pages229
    Number of pages256
    Volume18
    Edition1
    ISBN (Print)9780643094024
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Fingerprint

    savanna
    greenhouse gas
    fire management
    methodology
    seasonality
    fire history
    patchiness
    vegetation structure
    anthropogenic source
    biomass burning
    wildfire
    satellite imagery
    dry season
    ash
    combustion
    accounting
    project

    Cite this

    Russell-Smith, J., Murphy, B., MEYER, C., COOK, G., Maier, S., EDWARDS, A., ... BROCKLEHURST, P. (2009). Improving estimates of savanna burning emissions for greenhouse accounting in northern Australia: limitations, challenges, applications. In J. Russell-Smith, P. Whitehead, & P. Cooke (Eds.), Culture, ecology and economy of savanna fire management in northern Australia: rekindling the Wurrk tradition. (1 ed., Vol. 18, pp. 229). Australia: CSIRO Publishing.
    Russell-Smith, Jeremy ; Murphy, Bernadette ; MEYER, C ; COOK, G ; Maier, Stefan ; EDWARDS, A ; SCHATZ, J ; BROCKLEHURST, P. / Improving estimates of savanna burning emissions for greenhouse accounting in northern Australia : limitations, challenges, applications. Culture, ecology and economy of savanna fire management in northern Australia: rekindling the Wurrk tradition.. editor / J Russell-Smith ; P Whitehead ; P Cooke. Vol. 18 1. ed. Australia : CSIRO Publishing, 2009. pp. 229
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    title = "Improving estimates of savanna burning emissions for greenhouse accounting in northern Australia: limitations, challenges, applications",
    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.",
    author = "Jeremy Russell-Smith and Bernadette Murphy and C MEYER and G COOK and Stefan Maier and A EDWARDS and J SCHATZ and P BROCKLEHURST",
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    Russell-Smith, J, Murphy, B, MEYER, C, COOK, G, Maier, S, EDWARDS, A, SCHATZ, J & BROCKLEHURST, P 2009, Improving estimates of savanna burning emissions for greenhouse accounting in northern Australia: limitations, challenges, applications. in J Russell-Smith, P Whitehead & P Cooke (eds), Culture, ecology and economy of savanna fire management in northern Australia: rekindling the Wurrk tradition.. 1 edn, vol. 18, CSIRO Publishing, Australia, pp. 229.

    Improving estimates of savanna burning emissions for greenhouse accounting in northern Australia : limitations, challenges, applications. / Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Murphy, Bernadette; MEYER, C; COOK, G; Maier, Stefan; EDWARDS, A; SCHATZ, J; BROCKLEHURST, P.

    Culture, ecology and economy of savanna fire management in northern Australia: rekindling the Wurrk tradition.. ed. / J Russell-Smith; P Whitehead; P Cooke. Vol. 18 1. ed. Australia : CSIRO Publishing, 2009. p. 229.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

    TY - CHAP

    T1 - Improving estimates of savanna burning emissions for greenhouse accounting in northern Australia

    T2 - limitations, challenges, applications

    AU - Russell-Smith, Jeremy

    AU - Murphy, Bernadette

    AU - MEYER, C

    AU - COOK, G

    AU - Maier, Stefan

    AU - EDWARDS, A

    AU - SCHATZ, J

    AU - BROCKLEHURST, P

    PY - 2009

    Y1 - 2009

    N2 - 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.

    AB - 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.

    M3 - Chapter

    SN - 9780643094024

    VL - 18

    SP - 229

    BT - Culture, ecology and economy of savanna fire management in northern Australia

    A2 - Russell-Smith, J

    A2 - Whitehead, P

    A2 - Cooke, P

    PB - CSIRO Publishing

    CY - Australia

    ER -

    Russell-Smith J, Murphy B, MEYER C, COOK G, Maier S, EDWARDS A et al. Improving estimates of savanna burning emissions for greenhouse accounting in northern Australia: limitations, challenges, applications. In Russell-Smith J, Whitehead P, Cooke P, editors, Culture, ecology and economy of savanna fire management in northern Australia: rekindling the Wurrk tradition.. 1 ed. Vol. 18. Australia: CSIRO Publishing. 2009. p. 229