First in SITU -measurements of tropical peatland fire emissions: new emission factors for greenhouse gas reporting and haze forecasting

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Authors: 
Thomas E L Smith, Catherine M Yule, Stephanie Evers, Clare Paton-Walsh, and Jing Ye Gan
Book (published in): 
Proceedings of the 15th International Peat Congress
Venue: 
Kuching
Year: 
2016
Keywords: 
Tropical peatland, ecosystem security, peat swamp, peatfire

Summary:

INTRODUCTION

Tropical peat swamp fires in Southeast Asia are a major source of greenhouse gases (GHGs), responsible for climate change; and reactive gases and aerosols, responsible for poor regional air quality affecting hundreds of millions of people (Table 1). Approximately 90% of seasonal haze in Southeast Asia is due to fires burning on peatlands. Despite such damaging impacts, very little is known about the makeup of peatland fire emissions. Current estimates of total emissions from tropical peatland fires, including the important GHGs CO2 and CH4, use emission factors derived from one study where a single peat sample was burned in a laboratory. Here, we present the first emission factors to be measured in situ at active peat fires burning on degraded peatlands in southeast Pahang, Peninsula Malaysia.