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Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability
Year : 2019, Volume : 7, Issue : 1
First page : ( 32) Last page : ( 38)
Print ISSN : 2320-6411. Online ISSN : 2320-642X.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2320-642X.2019.00005.X

Estimation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Vegetation Fires in Central India

Ray Tapas1, Malasiya Dinesh1, Dar Javid Ahmad1, Khare P. K1, Khan Mohammed Latif1,*, Verma Satyam2, Dayanandan Arun3

1Forest Ecology and Eco-genomics Lab, Department of Botany, Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, Sagar-470003, Madhya Pradesh, India

2Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun-248001, India

3Biology Department, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St. West, Montreal, H4B 1R6, Quebec, Canada

*Correspondance: khanml@yahoo.com

Online published on 31 May, 2019.

Abstract

Interactions between biodiversity loss and climate change pose significant challenges for scientific research, policy-making, and the management of ecosystem processes. Greenhouse gases released from vegetation fires have been identified as a key environmental issue within the context of global warming and climate change due to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Occurring mostly during the dry season in India, the burning of vegetation causes a variety of negative environmental impacts on air and soil quality. The present study estimates greenhouse gas emissions caused by vegetation fires in Central India through the use of MODISbased burnt area maps, Land sat-based land cover maps, biometric models, and pre-existing datasets. Greenhouse gas emissions were calculated as the product of area burnt, biomass loading per unit area, combustion factor, and emission factor. The results indicate that the number of fires and burnt areas increased significantly between 2002 and 2016, MODIS fire counts increased from 720 to 3165 between 2002 and 2016. A strong correlation between area burnt and greenhouse gas emissions allowed for accurate emissions estimates once area burnt was quantified. These variations in vegetation fire cycles have an important influence on forest composition and structure at the landscape and regional levels, and maintenance of this natural variability should be targeted by forest managers concerned with biodiversity conservation. These results indicate that continued vegetation fires will produce a greater impact on global carbon emissions and reduce forest biodiversity. Fire emissions have been increasing over the past decades and are likely to remain high due to forecasted changes in fire caused by climate change.

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Keywords

Vegetation fires, Remote sensing and GIS, Greenhouse gas emission, Climate change, MODIS.

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