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

Author(s): Rabin, Sam S.; Ward, Daniel S.; Malyshev, Sergey L.; Magi, Brian I.; Shevliakova, Elena; et al

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Abstract: This study describes and evaluates the Fire Including Natural & 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 2001–2009 (global totals: 0:434 x 10^6 and 2:02 x 10^6 km^2 yr-1 modeled, 0:454 x 10^6 and 2:04 x 10^6 km2 yr-1 observed), but carbon emissions for cropland and pasture fire are overestimated (global totals: 0.295 and 0.706 PgCyr-1 modeled, 0.194 and 0.538 PgCyr-1 observed). The non-agricultural fire module underestimates global burned area (1:91 x 10^6 km2 yr-1 modeled, 2:44 x 10^6 km^2 yr-1 observed) and carbon emissions (1.14 PgCyr-1 modeled, 1.84 PgCyr-1 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 sees 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. We include an in-depth discussion of the lessons learned from using the Levenberg–Marquardt algorithm in an interactive optimization for a dynamic global vegetation model.
Publication Date: 2018
Electronic Publication Date: 2-Mar-2018
Citation: Rabin, Sam S, Ward, Daniel S, Malyshev, Sergey L, Magi, Brian I, Shevliakova, Elena, Pacala, Stephen 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. doi:10.5194/gmd-11-815-2018
DOI: doi:10.5194/gmd-11-815-2018
EISSN: 1991-9603
Pages: 815 - 842
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Geoscientific Model Development
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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