Articles | Volume 18, issue 23
Biogeosciences, 18, 6229–6244, 2021

Special issue: The role of fire in the Earth system: understanding interactions...

Biogeosciences, 18, 6229–6244, 2021

Research article 01 Dec 2021

Research article | 01 Dec 2021

Methane gas emissions from savanna fires: what analysis of local burning regimes in a working West African landscape tell us

Paul Laris et al.

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Cited articles

Andreae, M. O.: Emission of trace gases and aerosols from biomass burning – an updated assessment, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 8523–8546,, 2019. 
Andreae, M. O. and Merlet, P.: Emission of trace gases and aerosols from biomass burning, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 15, 955–966, 2001. 
Bonsang, B., Boissard, C., Le Cloarec, M. F., Rudolph, J., and Lacaux, J. P.: Methane, carbon monoxide and light non-methane hydrocarbon emissions from African savanna burnings during the FOS/DECAFE experiment, J. Atmos. Chem., 22, 149–162, 1995. 
Byram, G. M.: Combustion of forest fuels, edited by: Davis, K. P., Forest fire: Control and use, McGraw-Hill, New York, 61–89, 1959. 
Charnley, S., Sheridan, T. E., and Nabhan, G. P. (Eds.): Stitching the West Back Together: Conservation of Working Landscapes, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2014. 
Short summary
Savanna fires play a key role in the global carbon cycle because they release methane. Although it burns the most, there are few studies from West Africa. We conducted 36 experimental fires according to local practice to collect smoke samples. We found that fires set early in the season had higher methane emissions than those set later, and head fires had double the emissions of backfires. We conclude policies to reduce emissions will not have the desired effects if fire type is not considered.
Final-revised paper