Creation of a Smoke and Emissions Model Intercomparison Project (SEMIP) and Evaluation of Current Models
Principal Investigator(s):
  • Narasimhan K. Larkin
    US Forest Service, Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory
Co-Principal Investigator(s):
Completion Date: September 28, 2012

Cataloging Information

  • model assessment
  • model comparison
  • model evaluation
  • SEMIP - Smoke and Emissions Model Intercomparison Project
JFSP Project Number(s):
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 13, 2016
FRAMES Record Number: 14615


Fire emissions and smoke impacts from wildland fire are a growing concern due to increasing fire season severity, dwindling tolerance of smoke by the public, tightening air quality regulations, and their role in climate change issues. Unfortunately, as identified in JFSP RFA 2008-01 Task 6, while a number of models and modeling system solutions are available to address these issues, a lack of quantitative information on the limitations of smoke and emissions models impedes the use of these tools for real-world applications. We propose to directly address this critical issue by (1) creating an ongoing, open-access Smoke Emissions Model Intercomparison Project (SEMIP) and (2) completing (with the collaboration of other researchers and stakeholders) a first round of SEMIP model-to-model intercomparisons and model-to-observations performance assessments for 22 component models. The results will be translated into user guidance as instructions, reports, interactive websites, and training sessions that allow managers to apply the findings to their specific task. The SEMIP study plan and protocols will be developed in association with the larger scientific and management communities through the creation of a Scientific Advisory Board and Governing Board. They will provide an open standard for the evaluation of fire emissions and smoke transport models, as well as component models used by these systems. The protocols will specify open criteria for inclusion, a standard set of case studies, and standard performance metrics. The SEMIP study plan and protocols will be submitted for approval to the JFSP board in Year 1 of the project. Upon approval, extensive work will gather the observational data for the test cases, conduct the first phase of comparisons and evaluations, and translate the results into user guidance. Fire managers and air quality regulators will directly benefit from the project results, which will outline model strengths and weaknesses and provide guidance on using model results for specific applications. In this way, SEMIP will directly address an overriding issue concerning fire emissions and smoke impacts assessments.