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Title: Impact of fire on global land surface air temperature and energy budget for the 20th century due to changes within ecosystems

Fire is a global phenomenon and tightly interacts with the biosphere and climate. This study provides the first quantitative assessment of fire’s influence on the global land air temperature during the 20th century through its impact on terrestrial ecosystems. We quantify the impact of fire by comparing 20th century fire-on and fire-off simulations with the Community Earth System Model (CESM) as the model platform. Here, results show that fire-induced changes in terrestrial ecosystems increased global land surface air temperature by 0.04 °C. Such changes significantly warmed the tropical savannas and southern Asia mainly by reducing latent heat flux, but cooled Southeast China by enhancing the East Asian winter monsoon. 20% of the early 20th century global land warming can be attributed to fire-induced changes in terrestrial ecosystems, providing a new mechanism for explaining the poorly-understood climate change.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China). Inst. of Atmospheric Physics. International Center for Climate and Environmental Sciences
  2. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
  3. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). Joint Global Change Research Inst. Pacific Northwest National Lab.
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326; KP1703020
Grant/Contract Number:
FC03-97ER62402; 41475099; 2010CB951801
Published Article
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
IOP Publishing
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States); Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC); State Key Project for Basic Research Program of China; China Scholarship Council
Contributing Orgs:
National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; fire; climate; global energy budget; terrestrial ecosystems; earth system modeling; global change
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1358487; OSTI ID: 1361670