GEOPHYSICAL MONOGRAPH SERIES, VOL. 186, PP. 207-232, 2009
Biomass burning in Amazonia: Emissions, long-range transport of smoke and its regional and remote impacts
Center for Space and Atmospheric Sciences, National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos, Brazil
Center for Weather Forecast and Climate Studies, National Institute for Space Research, Cachoeira Paulista, Brazil
Max Planck Institute, Mainz, Germany
Department of Chemistry, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, USA
Institute of Physics, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Every year, biomass burning in Amazonia continues to release large amounts of trace gases and aerosol particles into the atmosphere.
The consequent change from low to very high atmospheric concentrations of oxidants and aerosols therefore affects the radiative,
cloud physical, and chemical properties of the atmosphere over Amazonia. This represents a dramatic perturbation to the regional
climate, ecology, water cycle, and human activities. Given the magnitude of burning in Amazonia and the efficiency of the
atmospheric transport processes of fire emissions, these perturbations can affect the climate system even on a global scale.
This chapter summarizes the knowledge acquired in the ambit of the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia
program about vegetation fire as a driving force of atmospheric disturbances over Amazonia. We describe the different fire
behaviors for the region and present an updated review of emission and combustion factors for Amazonia. We discuss some of
the available biomass-burning emission inventories for the Amazonian region, discussing their assets and limitations. We further
discuss atmospheric transport processes that are the main drivers of the dispersion of fire emissions, introduce the most
relevant concepts for numerical modeling of smoke transport, and show the general pattern of smoke transport over the South
American continent. Finally, we present the current status of the understanding of local and remote impacts of smoke trace
gases and aerosol particles, discussing the oxidizing power of the Amazonian atmosphere, as well as the radiation and heat
budgets and consequences on cloud properties and distribution.
Citation: Longo, K. M.,