Using Satellite Imagery to Improve the Characterization of Crop Residue Burning Emissions in the U.S. National Emission Inventory

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Thomas E Pierce, USEPA, Office of Research and Development, RTP, NC, United States, George Pouliot, EPA, Office of Research and Development, Durham, NC, United States, Venkatesh Rao, USEPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, RTP, NC, United States, Jessica L McCarty, Michigan Technological University, Michigan Tech Research Institute, Houghton, MI, United States and Amber Jeanine Soja, National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, VA, United States
Biomass burning contributes to the degradation of air quality because of its impact on ozone and particulate matter. One sector of the U.S. National Emission Inventory (NEI), crop residue burning, has been difficult to characterize. Previous “bottom up” efforts have resulted in omissions in some regions and unrealistic gradients of emissions across state boundaries. This work integrates daily fire locations from NOAA’s Hazard Mapping System (HMS), burn scar products from NASA satellite imagery, and updated emission factors to build an improved characterization of temporally and spatially resolved emission datasets for regional air quality modeling. Comparisons with earlier estimates show significant changes in the temporal and spatial distribution of crop residue burning emissions. Results from the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling system exercised at a 12 km resolution across the continental U.S. show relatively small but appreciable changes in fine particulate (PM2.5) concentrations over parts of the modeling domain.