Chapter

Biogeochemistry of Global Change

pp 113-150

The Influence of Tropical Biomass Burning on Climate and the Atmospheric Environment

  • Meinrat O. AndreaeAffiliated withBiogeochemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry

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Abstract

This chapter presents a review of the historical, economic, and environmental aspects of biomass burning. The use and extent of biomass burning in agriculture and various economic activities and its geographical distribution are outlined. The resulting emissions of gases and aerosols to the atmosphere are estimated based on field and laboratory measurements. Chemical processes in the emission plumes and their atmospheric transport on the regional to global scale are evaluated. The impact of the emissions from biomass burning on climate and the environment is shown to be, in many respects, of a magnitude comparable to the effects of the emissions from fossil fuel combustion.