For many regions in California, burning of agricultural residues can sometimes contribute significantly to episodic PM10 and PM2.5 levels, as well as visibility reducing particles. In addition, federal and state land managers have plans to increase the levels of prescribed burning within California to reduce fire hazard and improve forest management. To better allocate and manage the air impacts of biomass burning, there is a need for better estimates of fire emissions, burn location, and when the burns occur. The existing California Air Resources Board's emission estimates for agricultural burning must be improved for PM2.5 emission inventories and visibility impact assessment. Current estimates lack (1) consistent, well documented emissions rate data, (2) consistent, statewide estimates of the quantities and types of agricultural residues actually burned, and (3) a consistent way of mapping crops and where burning occurs. With the goal of addressing these inventory needs, this research project developed a prototype Agricultural Burning Emission Estimation System (ABEES). To generate a specific and high quality emission inventory, ABEES processes spatially and temporally specific burn activity data. This bottom-up approach is radically different from existing top-down allocation approaches employed statewide by the Air Resources Board.
For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753
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