GFMC: Regional and Global Vegetation Fire Emissions

Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED) Project 

(1997 – now)

The GFED project, aiming to quantify fire emissions on a global scale, originated from a NASA grant to James T. Randerson. Over the last 5 years, emissions estimates have been refined, and gridded monthly burned area and emissions are available for the community to download and use. 

Burned area estimates are derived from a combination of active fires depicted by MODIS (2001 onwards), TRMM-VIRS and ATSR (for the pre-2001 period), and burned area (MODIS) for selected regions. For these regions, relations between burned area and active fires were derived using ancillary data such as vegetation continuous fields and cluster size of fire pixels. These regionally-derived relations were then used to extrapolate to the global and inter-annual domain. This ‘hybrid’ burned area product should be seen as an interim solution that is useful until other burned area products (e.g., the official MODIS burned area product and the GLOBCARBON products) become available.

A readme file providing further information can be found here:

A publication on the burned area product can be found here:

Burned area (1997 – now, monthly, one degree) can be downloaded from:

Within the GFED project a modified version of the CASA biogeochemical model was used to estimate emissions. The CASA model simulates the exchange of carbon between the biosphere and the atmosphere based on satellite-derived NPP. A fire module was implemented to add the fire loss pathway. Within the model, fuel loads are calculated for each grid cell and month based on fuel loads of the previous month, carbon gains from NPP, and carbon losses from respiration, herbivory, fuel wood collection, and fire. Combustion completeness of the fuel loads depended on fuel type and moisture conditions.

A readme file providing further information can be found here:

A publication on the fire emission can be found here: 

Emission data (carbon, CO2, CO, CH4, aerosols, and several other trace gases for the 1997 – now period, monthly [for the 2001 onwards period also 8-day data] one degree) can be downloaded from

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