Biomass-burning-induced surface darkening and its impact on regional meteorology in eastern China

Tang, Rong; Huang, Xin; Zhou, Derong; Ding, Aijun

Biomass burning has attracted great concerns for the emission of particular matters and trace gases, which substantially impacts air quality, human health, and climate change. Meanwhile, large areas of dark char, carbon residue produced in incomplete combustion, can stick to the surface over fire-prone areas after open burning, leading to a sharp drop in surface albedo, so-called “surface darkening”. However, exploration into such surface albedo declines and the radiative and meteorological effects is still fairly limited. As one of the highest-yield agricultural areas, eastern China features intensive straw burning every early summer, the harvest season for winter wheat, which was particularly strong in 2012. Satellite retrievals show that the surface albedo decline over fire-prone areas was significant, especially in the near-infrared band, which can reach inline-formula−0.16. Observational evidence of abnormal surface warming was found by comparing radiosonde and reanalysis data. Most sites around intensive burned scars show a positive deviation, extending especially in the downwind area. Comparisons between “pre-fire” and “post-fire” from 2007 to 2015 indicated a larger temperature bias of the forecast during the post-fire stage. The signal becomes more apparent between 14:00 and 20:00 LT. Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) simulations suggest that including surface darkening can decrease model bias and well-captured temperature variation after burning at sites in fire areas and their adjacent area. This work highlights the importance of biomass burning induced albedo change in weather forecast and regional climate.



Tang, Rong / Huang, Xin / Zhou, Derong / et al: Biomass-burning-induced surface darkening and its impact on regional meteorology in eastern China. 2020. Copernicus Publications.


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