A fire model with distinct crop, pasture, and non-agricultural burning: Use of new data and a model-fitting algorithm for FINAL.1

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Abstract

This study describes and evaluates the Fire Including Natural &amp; Agricultural Lands model (FINAL) which, for the first time, explicitly simulates cropland and pasture management fires separately from non-agricultural fires. The non-agricultural fire module uses empirical relationships to simulate burned area in a quasi-mechanistic framework, similar to past fire modeling efforts, but with a novel optimization method that improves the fidelity of simulated fire patterns to new observational estimates of non-agricultural burning. The agricultural fire components are forced with estimates of cropland and pasture fire seasonality and frequency derived from observational land-cover and satellite fire datasets. FINAL accurately simulates the amount, distribution, and seasonal timing of burned cropland and pasture over 2001&amp;ndash;2009 (global totals: 0.434 &amp;times; 10<sup>6</sup> and 2.02 &amp;times; 10<sup>6</sup>&amp;thinsp;km<sup>2</sup>&amp;thinsp;yr<sup>&amp;minus;1</sup> modeled, 0.454 &amp;times; 10<sup>6</sup> and 2.04 &amp;times; 10<sup>6</sup>&amp;thinsp;km<sup>2</sup>&amp;thinsp;yr<sup>&amp;minus;1</sup> observed), but carbon emissions for cropland and pasture fire are overestimated (global totals: 0.297&amp;thinsp;PgC&amp;thinsp;yr<sup>&amp;minus;1</sup> and 0.712&amp;thinsp;PgC&amp;thinsp;yr<sup>&amp;minus;1</sup> modeled, 0.194&amp;thinsp;PgC&amp;thinsp;yr<sup>&amp;minus;1</sup> and 0.538&amp;thinsp;PgC&amp;thinsp;yr<sup>&amp;minus;1</sup> observed). The non-agricultural fire module underestimates global burned area (1.66 &amp;times; 10<Sup>6</sup>&amp;thinsp;km<sup>2</sup>&amp;thinsp;yr<sup>&amp;minus;1</sup> modeled, 2.44 &amp;times; 10<sup>6</sup>&amp;thinsp;km<sup>2</sup>&amp;thinsp;yr<sup>&amp;minus;1</sup> observed) and carbon emissions (1.33&amp;thinsp;PgC&amp;thinsp;yr<sup>&amp;minus;1</sup> modeled, 1.84&amp;thinsp;PgC&amp;thinsp;yr<sup>&amp;minus;1</sup> observed). The spatial pattern of total burned area and carbon emissions is generally well reproduced across much of sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil, central Asia, and Australia, whereas the boreal zone suffers from underestimates. FINAL represents an important step in the development of global fire models, and offers a strategy for fire models to consider human-driven fire regimes on cultivated lands. At the regional scale, simulations would benefit from refinements in the parameterizations and improved optimization datasets.

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Rabin, S. S., Ward, D. S., Malyshev, S. L., Magi, B. I., Shevliakova, E., & Pacala, S. W. (2018). A fire model with distinct crop, pasture, and non-agricultural burning: Use of new data and a model-fitting algorithm for FINAL.1. Geoscientific Model Development, 11(2), 815–842. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-11-815-2018

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