University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Centre for Atmospheric Science seminars, Chemistry Dept. > Smoke and mirrors: Infrared spectroscopy and radiometry for the study of biomass burning emissions

Smoke and mirrors: Infrared spectroscopy and radiometry for the study of biomass burning emissions

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An average of 3.5–4.5 million square km of vegetation burns in global wildfires each year. The gases and particulates released have substantial chemical and radiative impacts, the magnitude of which depends on the specific makeup and magnitude of the emissions. Full assessment of the atmospheric effects of biomass burning generally requires spatio-temporally resolved data on the makeup and magnitude of the smoke emissions. This is usually obtained via multiplication of the amount of fuel consumed [M] by an emission factor [EFx], representing the amount of chemical species [x] released per kilogram of dry fuel burned.

This talk focuses on the development, evaluation and application of lab and field-deployed methods based around Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy for the assessment of emission factors [EFx] for biomass burning events, and how these can be used with remote sensing estimates of fuel consumed [M] to calculate total emissions from particular regions/ecosystems. Case-studies of the application of the methodology to studying seasonal biomass burning emissions in Northern Territory, Australia, moorland burning in the UK, and emissions from tropical peatland fires in Southeast Asia are also presented.

This talk is part of the Centre for Atmospheric Science seminars, Chemistry Dept. series.

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