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This paper sets out to show the potential use of remote sensing of active vegetation fires for continental-scale to global-scale modelling of biomass burning studies. It focuses on the analysis of the seasonality of vegetation fires for the African continent, as derived from NOAA-advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR)-global area coverage (GAC)-5km satellite data. Monthly counts of fire pixels, within 1 latitude x 1 longitude grid cells, over continental Africa have been calculated from November 1984 through October 1989 and compared with previous studies. The analysis shows that previous attempts to characterize the seasonality of biomass burning have tended to underestimate the intensity of the peak months of burning or have predicted too long a fire season in certain areas. It also shows that there can be, for a given area, a temporal shift in the timing of the fire season for year to year. Such an interannual variability of fire seasonality makes satellite data more appropriate than statistical data for the modelling of atmospheric transport of vegetation fire products and the comparison with experimental measurements.

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Authors: COOKE W F, JRC Ispra (IT);KOFFI B, JRC Ispra (IT);GRÉGOIRE J M, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 101 (1996) No. D15, pp. 21051-21065
Record Number: 199611375 / Last updated on: 1996-12-04
Original language: en
Available languages: en