Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Model description paper
13 Apr 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD) and is expected to appear here in due course.
A fire model with distinct crop, pasture, and non-agricultural burning: Use of new data and a model-fitting algorithm for FINALv1
Sam S. Rabin1,2, Sergey L. Malyshev3, Brian I. Magi4, Elena Shevliakova3, and Stephen W. Pacala1 1Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
2Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research / Atmospheric Environmental Research, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
3FDL-Princeton University Cooperative Institute for Climate Science, Princeton, NJ, USA
4University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Geography and Earth Sciences Department, Charlotte, NC, USA
Abstract. This study describes and evaluates the Fire Including Natural & Agricultural Lands model (FINAL) which, for the first time, explicitly simulates cropland and pasture management fires separately from non-agricultural fires. The non-agricultural fire module uses empirical relationships to simulate burned area in a quasi-mechanistic framework, similar to past fire modeling efforts, but with a novel optimization method that improves the fidelity of simulated fire patterns to new observational estimates of non-agricultural burning. The agricultural fire components are forced with estimates of cropland and pasture fire seasonality and frequency derived from observational land-cover and satellite fire datasets. FINAL accurately simulates the amount, distribution, and seasonal timing of burned cropland and pasture over 2001–2009 (global totals: 0.434 × 106 and 2.02 × 106 km2 yr−1 modeled, 0.454 × 106 and 2.04 × 106 km2 yr−1 observed), but carbon emissions for cropland and pasture fire are overestimated (global totals: 0.297 PgC yr−1 and 0.712 PgC yr−1 modeled, 0.194 PgC yr−1 and 0.538 PgC yr−1 observed). The non-agricultural fire module underestimates global burned area (1.66 × 106 km2 yr−1 modeled, 2.44 × 106 km2 yr−1 observed) and carbon emissions (1.33 PgC yr−1 modeled, 1.84 PgC yr−1 observed). The spatial pattern of total burned area and carbon emissions is generally well reproduced across much of sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil, central Asia, and Australia, whereas the boreal zone suffers from underestimates. FINAL represents an important step in the development of global fire models, and offers a strategy for fire models to consider human-driven fire regimes on cultivated lands. At the regional scale, simulations would benefit from refinements in the parameterizations and improved optimization datasets.

Citation: Rabin, S. S., Malyshev, S. L., Magi, B. I., Shevliakova, E., and Pacala, S. W.: A fire model with distinct crop, pasture, and non-agricultural burning: Use of new data and a model-fitting algorithm for FINALv1, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Sam S. Rabin et al.
Sam S. Rabin et al.


Total article views: 577 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
427 117 33 577 9 44

Views and downloads (calculated since 13 Apr 2017)

Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 13 Apr 2017)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 574 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

Thereof 572 with geography defined and 2 with unknown origin.

Country # Views %
  • 1



Latest update: 24 Feb 2018
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
This paper describes a new fire model that for the first time simulates how fire is used on cropland and pasture in the modern day, as imposed using a recently-developed dataset. A non-agricultural fire module is fit algorithmically against non-agricultural burned area. Fitting improves performance and the general global pattern of fire is represented, but some gaps remain. The novel separation of agricultural burning from other fire may necessitate new design thinking in the future.
This paper describes a new fire model that for the first time simulates how fire is used on...