Fires in ecosystems and influence on the atmosphere
Geology Geography Ecology
Introduction. Fires in ecosystems, mostly after open burning, affect Ukrainian territory each year causing flora and fauna damage, soil degradation, pollutants emission, which impact air quality and human health. Fires influence the atmosphere by adding burned products and its further direct and indirect effects. Despite majority of fires are open burning, research of forest fire emissions prevail among Ukrainian scientists. Therefore, the study aimed to analyze the influence of all-type fires
... of all-type fires in Ukrainian ecosystems on substances fluxes to the atmosphere and possible changes of meteorological processes. Data and methodology. The study uses GFED4 data and inventories for analyses of forest and agricultural burned fraction, carbon and dry matter emissions for the period of 1997–2016. Additional data includes absorbed aerosol index derived from OMI (Aura) instrument and ground-based meteorological measurements. Results. Burning fraction indicates the 10 to 30% of area influencing in case of active fires. More than 90% of fires in Ukrainian ecosystems happened on the agricultural lands. The highest trends of active fires appear on the western and northern part of Ukraine, whereas burned fraction on the central territories reached up to 60% decreasing per decade. Most fires happened during two periods: March – April and July – September. The most severe fires occurred in 1999, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2012. Average emissions in Ukraine vary from 0.2 to 1.0 g·m2·month-1 for carbon and from 0.001 to 0.003 kg·m2·month-1 for dry matter. There are three localizations of huge burning products emissions, where maximal average values reach 1.8 g·m2·month-1 for carbon and 0.005 kg·m2·month-1 for dry matter. The biggest one occurred in the Polissia forest region. Despite the maximal emission from forest fires, open burning results the biggest coverage and air quality deteriorating. Absorbing aerosol index (AAI) could be good indicator of fires in Ukrainian ecosystems and burning products emissions. Overall, AAI with values more than 0.2 correspond to dry matter emissions of 0.005–0.01 kg·m2·month-1. If AAI exceed 0.4 usual dry matter emissions exceed 0.02 kg·m2·month-1. The study finds local scale changes of air temperature and days with precipitation due to huge burning products emissions. In case of monthly average AAI exceed 1.2 during fires events, positive air temperature anomaly at the ground decrease from 0.7 to 0.1°C. The main reason is absorption of solar radiation in the atmosphere. During the next month after intensive fires in ecosystems, days with precipitation have twofold decrease: from 13-14 to 7 days with precipitation more than 0 mm, and from 2-3 to 1 day with precipitation more than 5 mm. The reason might be changes of cloudiness formation due to elevated concentrations of carbonaceous aerosols. The results obtained for atmospheric changes is planned to be verified and compared using online integrated atmospheric modelling.