Fire emissions are critical for carbon and nutrient cycles, climate, and air quality. Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) with interactive fire modeling provide important estimates for long-term and large-scale changes of fire emissions. Here we present the first multi-model estimates of global gridded historical fire emissions for 1700-2012, including carbon and 33 species of trace gases and aerosols. The dataset is based on simulations of nine DGVMs with different state-of-the-art global fire models that participated in the Fire Modeling Intercomparison Project (FireMIP), using the same and standardized protocols and forcing data, and the most up-to-date fire emission factor table from field and laboratory studies over various land cover types. We evaluate the simulations of present-day fire emissions by comparing them with satellite-based products. Evaluation results show that most DGVMs simulate present-day global fire emission totals within the range of satellite-based products, and can capture the high emissions over the tropical savannas, low emissions over the arid and sparsely vegetated regions, and the main features of seasonality. However, most of the models fail to simulate the interannual variability, partly due to a lack of modeling peat fires and tropical deforestation fires. Historically, all models show only a weak trend in global fire emissions before ~1850s, consistent with multi-source merged historical reconstructions. The long-term trends among DGVMs are quite different for the 20th century, with some models showing an increase and others a decrease in fire emissions, mainly as a result of the discrepancy in their simulated responses to human population density change and land-use and land-cover change (LULCC). Our study provides a basic dataset for developing regional and global multi-source merged historical reconstructions and merging methods, and analyzing historical changes of fire emissions and their uncertainties as well as their role in the Earth system. It also highlights the importance of accurately modeling the responses of fire emissions to LULCC and population density change in reducing uncertainties in historical reconstructions of fire emissions and providing more reliable future projections.
Meteorology and Climatology
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ISSN 1680-7316) (e-ISSN 1680-7324); 19; 19; 12545–12567