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A review of biomass burning emissions, part I: gaseous emissions of carbon monoxide, methane, volatile organic compounds, and nitrogen containing compounds

Abstract : Biomass burning is the burning of living and dead vegetation. Ninety percent of all biomass-burning events are thought to be human initiated. Human induced fires are used for a variety of ''applications'' such as agricultural expansion, deforestation, bush control, weed and residue burning, and harvesting practices. Natural fires are grassland and forest fires mainly induced by lightning. It is estimated that 8700 Tg of dry matter/year are burnt each year in total. Emissions from biomass burning include a wide range of gaseous compounds and particles that contribute significantly to the tropospheric budgets on a local, regional, and even global scales. The emission of CO, CH4 and VOC affect the oxidation capacity of the troposphere by reacting with OH radicals, and emissions of nitric oxide and VOC lead to the formation of ozone and other photo oxidants. For a large number of compounds biomass burning is one of the largest single sources in the troposphere, especially in the tropics. Biomass-burning emissions play an important role in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nitrogen. Following the first systematic investigations on fire emissions in laboratory experiments in the 1960's, the last 20 years saw an increasing number in studies on biomass-burning emissions in various ecosystems. Recently, our knowledge of the emissions of gaseous compounds in the troposphere from fires has increased considerably. This manuscript is the first of four describing the properties biomass burning emissions. The properties of biomass-burning particles are discussed in part II and III of this review series which have been recently published, and their direct radiative effects are in part IV. This paper focuses on the review of emission ratios and emission rates of carbon monoxide, methane, volatile organics, and nitrogen containing compounds and should not be seen as a review of global emission estimates, even though we discuss the implications of our results on such studies.
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R. Koppmann, K. von Czapiewski, J. S. Reid. A review of biomass burning emissions, part I: gaseous emissions of carbon monoxide, methane, volatile organic compounds, and nitrogen containing compounds. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, European Geosciences Union, 2005, 5 (5), pp.10455-10516. ⟨hal-00301877⟩

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