Assessing variability and long-term trends in burned area by merging multiple satellite fire products
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): L. Giglio; J. T. Randerson; G. R. van der Werf; P. S. Kasibhatla; G. J. Collatz; D. C. Morton; R. S. Defries
Publication Year: 2010

Cataloging Information

  • aerosols
  • air quality
  • fire management
  • fire scar analysis
  • fire size
  • gases
  • remote sensing
  • statistical analysis
  • trees
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 48639
Tall Timbers Record Number: 24817
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Long term, high quality estimates of burned area are needed for improving both prognostic and diagnostic fire emissions models and for assessing feedbacks between fire and the climate system. We developed global, monthly burned area estimates aggregated to 0.5º spatial resolution for the time period July 1996 through mid-2009 using four satellite data sets. From 2001-2009, our primary data source was 500-m burned area maps produced using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) surface reflectance imagery; more than 90% of the global area burned during this time period was mapped in this fashion. During times when the 500-m MODIS data were not available, we used a combination of local regression and regional regression trees developed over periods when burned area and Terra MODIS active fire data were available to indirectly estimate burned area. Cross-calibration with fire observations from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Visible and Infrared Scanner (VIRS) and the Along-Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) allowed the data set to be extended prior to the MODIS era. With our data set we estimated that the global annual area burned for the years 1997-2008 varied between 330 and 431 Mha, with the maximum occurring in 1998. We compared our data set to the recent GFED2, L3JRC, GLOBCARBON, and MODIS M

Giglio, L., J. T. Randerson, G. R. van der Werf, P. S. Kasibhatla, G. J. Collatz, D. C. Morton, and R. S. Defries. 2010. Assessing variability and long-term trends in burned area by merging multiple satellite fire products. Biogeosciences, v. 7, no. 3, p. 1171-1186.