Abstract

AbstractBiomass burning (BB) as an important atmospheric carbon source has significant environmental and climatic influence. The frequent extreme BB cases in recent years have raised extensive concerns, yet the latest changes in BB emission on a global scale are not fully understood. Here, we systematically quantify the changes in BB carbon emission for 1999–2022 by fire types and on different scales based on the Global Fire Emissions Database with small fires (GFED4s) dataset. We find contrasting trends of savanna and boreal forest fires persistent over the study period, shaping the variation of global total BB carbon emission. The receding savanna fire drives a declining global BB carbon emission at −8 Tg C year−1 (−0.4% year−1) for 1999–2022, while an upturn of global carbon emission (5 Tg C year−1, 0.3% year−1) occurs in the recent decadal period (2008–2022) due to intensified boreal forest fires. The burned area decouples from carbon emission in terms of the changing tendency, as exhibited by the decreasing global burned area after 2008. Regionally, the fire carbon emission enhancement over the past 15 years (2008–2022) mainly comes from the boreal forests in northwestern North America, northeastern Siberia, and parts of the savanna area, all of which coincide with local climate change toward higher fire proneness. This study reveals a climate‐driven aggravation of the BB carbon emission, especially in high‐latitude boreal forests, and calls for attention to its potential impacts and effective fire management strategies.

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