Fire, Vegetation and Atmosphere Inter-Relationships: Understanding the Fire Regimes in Cerrado and Amazon Forest Using Remote Sensing
Fire is a widespread phenomenon and affects most ecosystems. Such different examples are the fire occurrence and forest responses in the Amazon forest and Brazilian savanna (Cerrado), important biomes due to large geographic extent, influence in global biogeochemical cycles and presence of high levels of biodiversity. Both biomes have been suffering from the conversion of natural vegetation into pasture and agriculture using fire practices. Anthropogenic activities and climate variability interacts increasing vegetation burning, becoming a major concern due to the vast areas. The interactions among anthropogenic activities, climate change and forest responses present potential positive feedbacks that may increase forest degradation through fire occurrence. It is necessary to identify patterns of fire occurrence in both biomes and analyze how vegetation varies in space and time in burned areas.
Although fossil fuels are the main source of greenhouse gases and aerosols emissions from anthropogenic activities, in these biomes, the primary source is vegetation burn. Fire incidence is concentrated during dry season when moisture reach critical conditions that allow people to use it as land management8. Fire frequently spreads without control, becoming a major concern due to vast areas of tropical forest affected. In addition, a higher frequency and intensity of droughts have been reported in South America last decades and also an increment in fire occurrence is expected with forest loss and enhanced greenhouse effect.
Any attempt to characterize and mitigate the climatic and environmental impacts from vegetation fires presupposes understanding the relationships between fire and vegetation, namely the vegetation susceptibility to fire, as well as between fire and atmospheric circulation, both in terms of weather patterns and extreme. Climate variability and associated weather patterns, particularly during extreme events, affects fire ignition and spread; climate also affects vegetation stress which in turn is related to the type of fire regime. Vegetation recovery affects fire regimes and is also conditioned by weather events and climate. The problem of identifying any major drivers of fire regimes may be however circumvented by adopting a synergic point of view where fire, land and atmosphere are considered as interacting components of an integrated system.
Such concerns support the need to provide reliable fire information. However, due to the very broad spatial extent and the limited accessibility of some of the largest areas affected by fire, instruments on-board satellites are currently the only available operational systems capable to collect cost-effective burned area information at adequate spatial and temporal resolutions.
The special conditions to study fire occurrence in both Brazilian ecosystems are related to Amazon vulnerability to fire and the Cerrado characteristic of high fire incidence and high levels of biodiversity. Some efforts to curb deforestation could decline in forest loss from around 28,000 km2yr−1 in 2004 to less than 7,000 km2yr−1 in 2011 in the Brazilian Amazon. Both biomes present high productivity and relative high potential to recover vegetation. The secondary forest would also enforce less fire occurrence through positive feedback. However, patterns of fire incidence and how vegetation recovers in burned areas is still unknown.
The main aim of project is to integrate the key interactions among fire-vegetation-atmosphere components and to allow having a deeper understanding of the fire regimes in Brazil using remote sensing datasets. The broad scope of this proposal is to advance the scientific and technical knowledge regarding vegetation fires, specifically in what concerns:
- assessing the major characteristics of fire regime based on statistics of active fires and fire scars as derived from remote sensing datasets;
- exploring meteorological and environmental data in order to uncover relationships between weather conditions, vegetation and fire regimes.
Four specific objectives will be pursued:
- to characterize fire regimes in terms of their regional extent and severity in the Amazon and in the Cerrado, using the latest generation of Earth observation satellites, including an assessment of uncertainty and a sensitivity analysis of the estimates;
- to combine those information with environmental data to identify and quantify fire-vegetation interactions regarding climatic, ecological and human drivers using specifically developed statistical models;
- to analyze vegetation recovery processes after fire, in order to characterize post-fire vegetation dynamics over the two selected regions;
- to disseminate the results, thus benefiting many users, comprising environmental institutions, research groups and fire managers.
Dissemination of Preliminary Research Findings
Papers accepted by refereed journals
- GEIRINHAS, J. L. M.; TRIGO, R. M.; LIBONATI, R.; PERES, L.F.; COELHO, C. A. S.; CASTRO, L.C.O.; SOUZA, P.; MAGALHAES, M. Characterizing the atmospheric conditions during the 2010 heatwave in Rio de Janeiro marked by excessive mortality rates. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 2018.
- GEIRINHAS, J. L. M.; LIBONATI, R.; TRIGO, R. M.; PERES, L.F. Climatic characterization of Heat Waves in Brazil. ANUÁRIO DO IGEO, 2018.
Papers under review in refereed journals:
- PAULUCCI, T.; FRANÇA, G.; LIBONATI, R; RAMOS, A.M. Long term spatial-temporal characterization of cloud-to-ground lightning in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro. PURE AND APPLIED GEOPHYSICS, 2018.
- MACHADO-SILVA, F.; LIBONATI, R.; LIMA, T.F.M.; PEIXOTO, R.B.; FRANÇA, J.R.A.; MAGALHAES, M.A.F.M; SANTOS, F.L.M, RODRIGUES, J.A Droughts and fire increase the respiratory diseases hospitalizations over the Amazon region. ENVIRONMENTAL INTERNATIONAL, 2018.
- GARCIA, B.; LIBONATI, R.; NUNES, A. Extreme Drought Events over the Amazon Basin: The Perspective from the Reconstruction of South American Hydroclimate. WATER, 2018.
- LIBONATI, R.; JIMENEZ-MUÑOZ, J.; PERES, L.F. Droughts over Amazonia in 2005, 2010 and 2015: A cloud cover perspective. FRONTIERS OF EARTH SCIENCE, 2018.
Book chapter (INVITED BY EDITORS)
- NOGUEIRA, J.; LIBONATI, R.; PEIXOTO, R.B.; MACHADO-SILVA, F. Vegetation responses to fire: perspectives on the use of environmental satellites in Brazil. In Brazilian Fire Monitoring Program. Edited by: Ferreira, N. & Setzer, A.W. Editora Oficina de Textos, Brazil, 2018 (in press).
- LIBONATI, R.; PEREIRA, A. A.; RODRIGUES, J. A.; SANTOS, F. L. M; ROSA, A. Remote sensing of burned areas in Brazil: progress, uncertainties, challenges, and future perspectives). In Brazilian Fire Monitoring Program. Edited by: Ferreira, N. & Setzer, A.W. Editora Oficina de Textos, Brazil, 2018 (in press)
- LIBONATI, R.; DACAMARA, C.C.; ERMIDA, S.E.; CALADO, T., MOTA-PINTO, M. Application of the user-oriented approach to the (V,W) burn-sensitive vegetation index system in Portugal’ 2017 fire season. In Satellite Information Classification and Interpretation. Edited by: Rustam B. Rustamov. IntechOpen, United Kingdom, 2018 (in press)
Proceedings of international conferences
- SANTOS, F. L. M.; RODRIGUES, J. A.; LIBONATI, R.; PERES, L.; PEREIRA, A. A.; SETZER, A. W. New generation of NPP-VIIRS sensor contribution to burned area mapping in Brazil. In: European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018, 2018, Vienna.
- SANTOS, F. L. M.; RODRIGUES, J. A.; LIBONATI, R. ; PERES, L. ; PEREIRA, A. A.; SETZER, A. W. USING VIIRS IMAGERY TO DETECT BURNED AREAS IN BRAZILIAN CERRADO. In: IEEE International Geosciences and Remote Sensing Symposium 2018, Valencia, Spain. 2018.
- RODRIGUES, J. A.; SANTOS, F. L. M.; Libonati, R.; PERES, L.; PEREIRA, A. A.; SETZER, A. W. MCD64A1 collection 6 validation over Brazilian Cerrado. In: European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018, 2018, Vienna.
- CASTRO, L. C. O.; GEIRINHAS, J. L. M.; TRIGO, R.; LIBONATI, R.; Peres, L. F.; MAGALHAES, M. A. F. M. Relation between heat wave events, synoptic patterns and mortality rates for the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro. In: European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018, 2018, Vienna. Oral presentation.
- GARCIA, B.; NUNES, A.; LIBONATI, R. Hydroclimate reconstruction for the analysis of drought events in the Amazon basin. In: European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018, 2018, Vienna.
- MIRANDA, V. F. V. V.; BELEM, L.; LIBONATI, R.; GOUVEIA, C.; PERES, L. Spatial and temporal drought patterns in Amazonia Basin in the last 3 decades. In: European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018, 2018, Vienna.
- RUFFO, T.; LIBONATI, R.; PERES, L.; FIGUEREDO, V.; ENRICH-PRAST, A.; PEIXOTO, R.; MACHADO-SILVA, F. Post fire emissions of greenhouse gases in impacted areas of Atlantic rainforest. In: European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018, 2018, Vienna.
Proceedings of national conferences
- GARCIA, B. N.; RODRIGUES, J. A.; SETZER, A. W.; LIBONATI, R. Validação do produto de área queimada mensal 1Km (MODIS). In: Seminário de Iniciação Científica e Iniciação em Desenvolvimento Tecnológico e Inovação (SICINPE), 2018, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, São José dos Campos-SP.
- CESAR, L.; LIBONATI, R.; PERES, L.; PALMEIRA, A. C. Modelos conceituais sobre ocorrências de ONDAS DE CALOR GENERALIZADAS (OCG) no Brasil durante o Verão. In: 9ª Semana de Integração Acadêmica (SIAC), 2018, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro-RJ.
- GARCIA, B.; LIBONATI, R.; NUNES, A. RECONSTRUÇÃO DAS SECAS EXTREMAS DO SÉCULO XXI NA BACIA AMAZÔNICA. In: 9ª Semana de Integração Acadêmica (SIAC), 2018, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro-RJ.
- RUFFO, T.; LIBONATI, R.; SETZER, A. W. Caracterização do risco de fogo meteorológico no Brasil utilizando dados de reanálises ERA-Interim para 1979-2005. In: Seminário de Iniciação Científica e Iniciação em Desenvolvimento Tecnológico e Inovação (SICINPE), 2018, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, São José dos Campos-SP.
- RUFFO, T.; MACHADO-SILVA, F.; PEIXOTO, R; LIBONATI, R. IMPACTO PÓS-FOGO DE EMISSÃO DE GASES DE EFEITO ESTUFA EM ÁREAS DE MATA ATLÂNTICA. In: 9ª Semana de Integração Acadêmica (SIAC), 2018, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro-RJ.
- RUFFO, T.; PEIXOTO, .B.R.; MACHADO-SILVA, F. IMPACTO PÓS-FOGO DE EMISSÃO DE GASES DE EFEITO ESTUFA EM ÁREAS DE MATA ATLÂNTICA. In: II Simpósio de Prevenção e Combate a Incêndios Florestais na Região Serrana (SPCIF), 2018, Petrópolis-RJ.
Conferences, Workshops, Meetings, Training
- Participation in the Workshop on newly developed satellite fire products. University of Maryland, Maryland, USA, March 2018.
- Participation in the Workshop on the state-of-the-art in fire science and management activities currently being implemented for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Brazil. NOAA, USA, Maryland, March 2018.
- Participation in the Workshop on management and suppression of landscape fires currently being implemented for the IBAMA-PREVFOGO. IBAMA, Brasília, Brazil, June 2018.
- Co-organization of the SPCIF Fire-man symposium (http://simposiopcif.org/), Petrópolis, Brazil, June 2018.
- Organization of the Workshop on the principles of satellite fire monitoring (burned area, active fire, and emissions), qualities and limitations of existing products, and climate change. SPCIF Fire-man symposium (http://simposiopcif.org/), Petrópolis, Brazil, June 2018.
- Organization of the Workshop on the principles of direct measurements of gases fluxes from soil, trees and water to the atmosphere, mainly carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), including static chambers, gas chromatography, infrared gas analysers and ecological perspectives. SPCIF Fire-man symposium (http://simposiopcif.org/), Petrópolis, Brazil, June 2018.
- Organization of the Training and capacity building session on satellite data used in support of fire management applications: Engaging firefighters on best practices involving the active satellite fire and burned area products and reporting of field observations. Salutaris Park, Paraíba do Sul, Brazil, September 2018.
- Participation in the European Geosciences Union (EGU) conference, held in Vienna in April 2018: Five students (3 MSc and 2 BSc) from our team have participated in the conference by presenting 7 works (2 oral and 5 posters).
- Participation in the International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2018, the 38th annual symposium of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS), held in Valencia in July 2018. One master student from our team has participated in the conference by presenting 2 works (1 oral and 1 poster).
- Participation in the 8th EUMETSAT LSA SAF workshop in Lisbon, from 26-28 June 2018. The PI and Dr. Peres have attended the workshop.
- Dr. Libonati (PI) was invited to give a presentation at the Department’s Center for Forest Studies, from the Agronomy Institute of University of Lisbon on 14 July 2018. The presentation addressed satellite-based mapping of burned area and covered latest advances in burnt scars detection and characterization using thermal infrared ground and spaceborne sensor technology, and generated interest among seminar attendees on possible partnerships with European and Brazilian collaborators.
- Dr. Libonati (PI) reviewed the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land.
- Dr. Libonati (PI) participated on the scientific committee of the IGARSS 2018 (https://www.igarss2018.org/).
- The Science Officer from the Natural Hazard’s division (NH) for wildfire (NH7) from the EGU (European Geosciences Union) invited Dr, Libonati (PI) to be a convener of a new session during the next EGU 2019 under the Natural Hazards (NH) disciplinary session and entitle: The use of remote sensing data in vegetation fires monitoring.
- Remote sensing and fire research group from the University of Maryland (UMD), which are ongoing NASA-funded researches working on the development of new satellite fire mapping algorithms.
- Climate variability and Climate Change Group at Instituto Dom Luiz (IDL), University of Lisbon. The group is one of the most engaged European groups in climate variability and climate change topics, involved in several trans-disciplinary studies related with climate impacts, extreme phenomena, and natural hazards, and has been deeply involved since the early 1990s in several European projects.
- Department’s Center for Forest Studies (DEF/ISA), University of Lisbon. The group has the largest ISI-indexed publications output of any forestry/agriculture Portuguese research unit. DEF/ISA has been involved in wildfire research since the late 1980s, namely through participation in several national and international research projects and field campaigns.
- Fire monitoring program from the Brazilian National Institute of Space Research (INPE), which has a solid experience in the development, management, and implementation of operational fire products.
- Institute of Scientific and Technological Information in Health of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (ICICIT- FIOCRUZ) responsible for the Data Science Platform, which provides information about the Brazilian Health System database (DATASUS).
- The Department of Thematic Studies – Environmental Change at Linköping University (LiU), Sweden, has long expertise regarding climate change from a multidisciplinary perspective. The group develops studies about carbon cycle ecological process, agriculture and land/use changes such as political applicability and interference of human activities in the social wellbeing.